A WEEK after Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sued NASA over awarding Moon lander contract to Elon Musk, the US space agency has put SpaceX’s $3 billion contract on hold for the second time, the media reported. According to court filings, NASA voluntarily agreed to temporarily suspend the contract until November 1, this year, while the US Court of Federal Claims adjudicated the case, the Verge reported on Friday.
Blue Origin had asked the court to grant a pause on SpaceX’s contract while the litigation played out, the report quoted a person familiar with the company’s sealed filings. NASA agreed to halt SpaceX’s contract on the condition that all parties agreed to “an expedited litigation schedule that concludes on November 1,” a spokesperson for the agency was quoted as saying. “NASA officials are continuing to work with the Department of Justice to review the details of the case and look forward to a timely resolution of this matter,” the spokesperson added.
SpaceX had intervened in the lawsuit earlier this week to “ensure that the court has a complete and accurate picture” of the protest, the company told the judge. Blue Origin sued NASA last week over NASA’s April decision to pick only SpaceX’s Starship rocket system for the agency’s first human lunar landing system since 1972.