Blue Origin Says NASA Collaboration With SpaceX “Will Prevent The US From Landing On The Moon Safely” And Musk Responds

Blue Origin Says NASA Collaboration With SpaceX

The space agency awarded SpaceX an exclusive contract worth $2.9 billion, which is criticized by Jeff Bezos.

Blue Origin, an aerospace transportation company owned by Jeff Bezos, again criticized NASA on Wednesday for awarding SpaceX an exclusive contract worth $2.9 billion to get humans to the moon. It stated in a statement, quoted by FOX Business, that it will continue to challenge the US space agency’s decision and repeated its claims that Elon Musk’s company obtained “preferential treatment.”

According to Bezos’ company, additional information released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed the desire of the US space agency to “obtain multiple awards”, confirming that there were “problems with the way it carried out its acquisition process, “and” stressed that these issues will prevent the US from landing on the Moon in a safe and sustainable manner.”

“We are particularly concerned about the lack of reviews on flight readiness in SpaceX’s proposal,” the note reads. Blue Origin noted that Musk’s company’s “complex approach” requires 16 consecutive launches of the Starship spacecraft with only three flight readiness reviews in total, “rather than one for each launch.” He explained that “flight readiness reviews are critical to safety and are especially important with reusable vehicles and multiple launches in rapid succession.”

“Even if there were 16 docked flights, this is not a problem”

For its part, the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, went to Twitter to defend the capabilities of the ship that is developing its business. “16 flights is extremely unlikely,” he stressed, adding that the Starship’s payload to orbit “is about 150 tons, so a maximum of 8 to fill the lunar starship’s 1,200-ton tanks” would be sufficient.

“Without ailerons or heat shield, the spacecraft is much lighter. The lunar landing legs do not add much (1/6 of gravity). It may only need half, that is, 4 flights with a tank,” he detailed.

He noted that “even if there were 16 docked flights, this is not a problem.” “SpaceX made more than 16 orbital flights in the first half of 2021 and has docked with the [International Space] Station – much more difficult than docking with our own spacecraft –  more than 20 times, he concluded.

In addition, he mocked a photo of the Blue Moon, a lander created by Blue Origin on Thursday. “In some ways, this was not convincing…” he commented.

Rejection of Jeff Bezos’ protest

In July, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that NASA’s decision to award SpaceX the contract to develop the spacecraft that will take its astronauts to the Luna under the Artemis program does not contravene US law.

The $2.94 billion deal was signed in April solely with Elon Musk’s company because “the bids submitted by Blue Origin and Dynetics were significantly higher priced” and the space agency “lacked the funds to grant more. of an award, ” said that agency in a statement.

The Artemis program, which aims to establish a permanent human presence both on the surface and in the lunar orbit, was launched during the term of Donald Trump. Astronauts were expected to return to the lunar surface in 2024, but the Biden administration says the date is being revised.