Musk and Bezos collide after SpaceX wins the lunar landing contract

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos speaks to the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule model at 33rd Colorado Springs Space Symposium

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(Reuters) Blue Origin, the space rocket company backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos, is officially questioning NASA’s $ 2.9 billion lunar lander contract awarded by NASA to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The world’s two richest men have grappled in a highly competitive global space race, battling for contracts from government agencies and corporations.

Blue Origin said Monday it had lodged a protest with the Federal Accountability Office, accusing NASA of moving the goal posts for contract bidders at the last minute.

Musk shot back with a tweet that said, “I can’t make it (into orbit) lol.” (https: //

He did not respond to the tweet but included a screenshot of a 2019 report on Bezos revealing Blue Origin’s moon lander on the same Twitter thread.

Blue Origin has fallen far behind SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) in orbital transport, losing billions of dollars in US safety launch contracts beginning in 2022. ULA is a joint venture between Boeing (NYSE 🙂 Co and Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE :).

The company took another hit earlier this month when NASA awarded SpaceX an order to build a spacecraft to deliver astronauts to the moon back in 2024, picking Musk’s company over Blue Origin and defense firm Dynetics Inc.

The coveted project aims to bring humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972.

“NASA made a flawed acquisition for the Human Landing System program and moved the goal posts at the last minute,” Blue Origin said in a statement it emailed.

“Your decision eliminates competitive opportunities, severely restricts the supply base and not only delays but also jeopardizes America’s return to the moon. This is the reason why we protested at GAO.”

Musk’s SpaceX bid alone, while Amazon.com (NASDAQ 🙂 founder Bezos’ Blue Origin partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp. Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE 🙂 and Draper.

The filing of Blue Origin’s 50-page protest was previously reported by the New York Times.

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