NASA Makes Jeff Bezos Sad, Elon Musk Happy: Agency Confirms $2.9 Billion SpaceX Contract After Bezos' Complaint

NASA Makes Jeff Bezos Sad, Elon Musk Happy: Agency Confirms $2.9 Billion SpaceX Contract After Bezos' Complaint
The complaint Jeff Bezos filed against the SpaceX contract with NASA officially gets dismissed. Elon Musk's Starship vehicle will push through with the Artemis program to send humans back to the moon by 2024. Photo : MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

The complaint Jeff Bezos filed against the SpaceX contract with NASA officially gets dismissed. Elon Musk's Starship vehicle will push through with the Artemis program to send humans back to the moon by 2024.

In 2020, NASA selected three companies to design and develop human landing systems (HLS) for its next mission to the moon. Three amazing spacecraft designs were immediately submitted:

  • (Blue Origin) Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV) -spacecraft designed as a three-stage lander equipped with New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system.
  • (Dynetics) Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) - a single structure spacecraft with ascent and descent capabilities equipped on ULA Vulcan launch system
  • (SpaceX) Starship - a fully integrated lander equipped with SpaceX Super Heavy rocket

However, in April, NASA chose to award SpaceX as the sole winner to develop the next lunar lander. NASA cited that "The cost of SpaceX's bid was about half that of Dynetics, and one-fourth the amount received by Blue Origin." NASA also "praised the [SpaceX] vehicle's innovative design and future-looking technology that might also one day be used on Mars," according to Arstechnica.

This decision did not sit well with Blue Origin, which resulted with a complaint being filed to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

NASA Confirms $2.9 Billion SpaceX Contract After Jeff Bezos' Complaint

An investigation was conducted on NASA's $2.9 billion contract with SpaceX for the incoming moon landing mission. NASA emphasized that it experienced budget constraints, which resulted in only one company getting awarded.

GAO managing associate general counsel Kenneth Patton concluded that "NASA did not violate procurement law or regulation when it decided to make only one award ... the evaluation of all three proposals was reasonable, and consistent with applicable procurement law, regulation, and the announcement's terms," according to The USA Tribune.

Jeff Bezos also offered a $2 billion discount to NASA as a last-minute effort to include Blue Origin in the moon mission. Unfortunately, this failed to block NASA's contract, exclusively awarding Space X and its Starship as the next lunar lander.

Read Also: International Space Station Scary Accident: Complete Details of Russian Module Misfire, Watch Undocking of Old Spacecraft

NASA Makes Jeff Bezos Sad, Elon Musk Happy

The infamous "space race" against two of the world's richest men tilted to Musk's favor.

Musk is incredibly happy with this development and immediately tweeted it online. He wrote, "Can't get it up (to orbit) lol," with an article clipping of Blue Origin's Moon Lander.

Both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have expressed their interest in space ventures and are locked in a heated competition for dominance. Aside from NASA's Artemis program, they also competed in selling out internet satellite services.

Unfortunately for Bezos, Musk got his head start on sending more than 1300 satellites in space, while Blue Origin is still stuck in its developmental phase. Musk's Starlink program is also predcited to have a $20 billion yearly cash flow prediction from analysts.

However, more competition might still come out of these two business competitors later this year.

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