Watchdog dismisses Blue Origin’s challenge to NASA’s lunar lander program

Blue Origin’s protest against NASA’s decision to pick just one company to build its first human lunar lander was denied by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the watchdog agency said Friday, also denying a similar protest from Dynetics. The decision keeps Blue Origin’s rival SpaceX the sole winner of NASA’s lucrative Moon lander program and hands a loss to Jeff Bezos, whose space company waged a months-long fight to win the same funding.

Blue Origin had accused NASA of running afoul of contracting law when it shelved its proposal, along with Dynetics’, to instead give Elon Musk’s SpaceX a lone $3 billion contract to land a crew of humans on the Moon by 2024. The agency had said it could award up to two companies for the contract, but never committed to that number. The GAO found that NASA “reserved the right to make multiple awards, a single award, or no award at all.”

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