Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin will see NASA in court.
The Amazon founder's space company filed a complaint against NASA in federal court on Monday, taking issue with the agency for awarding a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX earlier this year, CNBC reports.
"This bid protest challenges NASA's unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals," Blue Origin lawyers reportedly said in the court filing.
NASA previously announced that Elon Musk's SpaceX had been selected for "development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface" in a nearly $3 billion contract. Originally, NASA pledged to offer more than one contract, CNN notes. In response to complaints from Blue Origin over the decision, the Government Accountability Office said in July that NASA "did not violate procurement law or regulation when it decided to make only one award," noting that the agency concluded "it only had sufficient funding" for one.
But Blue Origin said it filed its lawsuit to "remedy" alleged "flaws in the acquisition process," per Axios, adding, "We firmly believe that the issues identified in this procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to restore fairness, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America." This lawsuit, The Verge wrote, could potentially result in a "new lengthy delay to NASA's race to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024."