back to article So it is possible for Jeff Bezos to lose: Court dismisses Blue Origin complaint about Moon contract award to Elon Musk

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 …

  1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    What comes next?

    He tried a $2B carrot, then a lawsuit stick, so what comes next from the billionaire Bozos?

    1. Zarno

      Re: What comes next?

      Hopefully not a showing of the darker side of his moon...

    2. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: What comes next?

      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.

    3. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: What comes next?

      He'll build his own moon. As in "That's not a moon, it's a space station".

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: What comes next?

      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...

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: What comes next?

        This is a small but welcome development in the recent 'I lose > I sue' cycle from Tech mega-corps.

        No business is entitled to public cash just because they've been involved in bidding for a job.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: What comes next?

          Is that the old JEDI mind trick? "This is not the contract you are looking for" :-)

    5. Hopalong

      Re: What comes next?

      I am sure the ULA would love to see some flight ready BE4 engines, only 4 years late.

  2. JohnG

    I liked Musk's comment on the case a few weeks back "You can't sue your way to the Moon, no matter how good your lawyers are".

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Jeff Bezos even offered NASA a $2bn discount [to change their mind]"

    I believe that that is actually called a bribe.

    1. Kane Silver badge

      Re: "Jeff Bezos even offered NASA a $2bn discount [to change their mind]"

      "I believe that that is actually called a bribe."

      Meh, it looks like a bribe, but seeing as actual money hasn't changed hands as such, it would be better to call it an incentive.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: "Jeff Bezos even offered NASA a $2bn discount [to change their mind]"

      No No NO

      only 10% of the $2Bn will be bribes...

      It'll all be set against future tax so it's really a delayed payment from the public pocket.

      We need a half joking icon.

    3. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: "Jeff Bezos even offered NASA a $2bn discount [to change their mind]"

      No. As the judge pointed out, Bezos bid as high as he could and still come in second. The $2b was just an attempt to rebid with the fat taken out.

    4. Sleep deprived

      Re: "Jeff Bezos even offered NASA a $2bn discount [to change their mind]"

      No, he just offered free shipping.

      1. msobkow Silver badge

        Re: "Jeff Bezos even offered NASA a $2bn discount [to change their mind]"

        Zing! Wish I'd have thought of it... :)

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    I think NASA was concerned that Bozos' lander might not be able to find the landing site, so would just land behind a mountain range in any old crater.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Then open one of the Clanger's dustbin lids and randomly leave the astronauts inside and fly off again.

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Not forgetting the Soup Dragon.......

        1. Dante Alighieri Bronze badge

          obligatory xkcd?

          will assist with this line of comments

          It's a recovered website. I remember the original

    2. Falmari Silver badge

      Sorry too have missed you

      @Chris G More likely NASA was concerned that the lander would not land, just leave a note that no one was in and then return to the mothership. ;)

  5. Scott Broukell

    A Rhyme

    Old Bill Shat(i)ner space ship as it soared up high,

    in Zero-G he pressed the flush and the captains log went floating by.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I'd rather see NASA do the work

    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.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I'd rather see NASA do the work

      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.

      1. msobkow Silver badge

        Re: I'd rather see NASA do the work

        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?

  7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Hey Bezos!!!

    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.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Hey Bezos!!!

      It's possible but I doubt Jeff reads The Register comments.

      So if you want to address him directly, you have more chance with Twitter.

  8. msobkow Silver badge

    Bribing them didn't work...

    Suing them didn't work...

    What is it going to take to get my way? Do they seriously expect me to take "No" for an answer?!?!?!

    *rages and screams, veins bulging and eyes popping*

  9. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Oh Bezos

    Bid that had a negative mass budget and a bid that broke the explicit rules about payment terms refused.

    Next time, try following the rules and propose something that might actually work.

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