What comes next?
He tried a $2B carrot, then a lawsuit stick, so what comes next from the billionaire Bozos?
The US Court of Federal Claims has dismissed Blue Origin’s complaints that NASA unfairly awarded its $2.89bn next-generation lunar lander system contract to SpaceX. The lander, known as the Human Landing System or HLS, is expected to launch the next man and first woman to the Moon. It's part of NASA’s Artemis program, a …
Dunno, if it was the other guy he'd call people "paedo" (that was the other guy, right?)
So the court says it is reasonable to go with a supplier that has proven space (not "close enough to space that the weakest definition holds"-space [*]) flight capabilities. How quaint and reasonable ;)
[*] ok, I now define space as being FL 100. I have actually piloted a plane above FL 100. So I want my astronaut wings. Yeah. Right.
I'm not sure anything comes next. Blue Origin got slaughtered in court. NASA got the case dismissed, which doesn't happen all that often. The court decided that their grounds were so poor that it wasn't even worth hearing all the evidence and judging the case. So chucked them out on their ear.
I'm sure they could try appealing this, but I'm presuming that now they're actually going to listen to their legal advice now and give up on a bad job.
NASA picked the cheaper bid from the company with experience and a proven track record of delivering for them. Also who already have a working (despite the odd explosion) prototype. Done in an open process, where they were actually quite nice about Blue Origin. The decision is reasonable on cost grounds alone.
I presume that Blue Origin were trying to argue that they should also have got a contract. But seeing as NASA didn't promise that, they only said they'd do it if they got the budget, I'm guessing that got short shrift. With not much hope of any long shrift on appeal...
Back in the old days NASA engineers did the work and fixed problems repeatedly very well - but these days the work is sold to private individuals companys so the work gets done and someone's going to make a nice profit. People are complaining about a $2B "bribe" but the contract winner will just "donate" to the next president ... essentially bribes and political donations are pretty much the same thing in the UK ... and the UK too.
NASA always had private contractors doing most of the work. Grumman built (and designed I think?) the lunar module, Boeing built the Apollo capsules. NASA designed the Saturn rockets, but put it out to various contractors to build them.
SpaceX have been the lowest bidder on the contracts they've won - and produced working hardware, so far. And they've certainly done better than NASA on SLS - though with a quick search I'm still not sure how much of the design of that is NASA and how much is Boeing.
NASA only designed the parts that work... as usual when dealing with government contractors. Boeing is responsible for the usual state of things under their watch.
How can one spend SO many decades in aerospace in contracting and STILL not have the processes and procedures down for producing QUALITY solutions instead of explosive bandaids and fizzling paper clips?
You can't even get to orbit yet!
And how much have you just cost NASA, SpaceX and the public purse by causing this legally shakey delay? Maybe a counter-suit from SpaceX, NASA and the Government for malicious time wasting since the court didn't even see fit to bother hearing all the evidence because the case was so shaky. I bet your legal team told you that too.
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