Updated: Aug 27, 2021
The two richest people on this planet, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, are currently in a fight over who will get government funding and approval for the new Human Landing System, or HLS. This program intends to put a larger group of people on the moon than the 1969 launch, and may potentially lead to inhabiting Mars.
NASA decided in April of this year that they would give government money to one private space company so they could fulfill the HLS. Dynetics put in a $9 billion offer, Blue Origin submitted a $6 billion bid, both of which were discarded for SpaceX's $3 billion deal. Because SpaceX has proved itself a reliable company and offered the best deal, this was the obvious choice.
NASA asked for $3.2 billion from Congress, and the drama began when they gave NASA less than $1 billion for the HLS. While SpaceX’s Elon Musk was not too happy about this, he accepted.
But after multiple disputes in the past months with the government, Blue Origin just sued NASA on Monday, August 16th. Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos even wrote a personal letter offering to lower production costs up to $2 billion if he could get the funding. Musk’s lunar spacecraft is being put on hold until November 1st because of this lawsuit. Clearly, Musk was upset. In a snarky Twitter post, Elon Musk said, “If lobbying & lawyers could get u to orbit, Bezos would be on Pluto rn”
So, in short, Jeff Bezos is upset because NASA is picking favorites and siding with SpaceX yet again.
So as of right now, NASA is required to respond to Jeff Bezos’ legal action by October 12th. Until then, everything is still up in the air. But because of how big of a dispute this is becoming, I will be quite intrigued to see where it goes.
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