(Washington) NASA did not violate existing restrictions by selecting SpaceX for the construction of its future Moon landing module, saying on Friday that the gender of U.S. public contracts was gendered, thus disputing the claims of rivals Blue Origin and Dynamics.
Elon Musk’s company was awarded a $ 2.9 billion landing system (HLS) project in April. Competitors opposed the election, arguing that NASA’s evaluation process was unfair and that the space agency should select multiple winners.
However, the congressional body responsible for auditing public accounts (GAOs), in its initial call for NASA projects, ressed that “the right to determine the number of winners or one winner is vested”. Funding levels.
GAO’s announcement is a blow to Blue Origin in particular, and is considered the strongest offer since SpaceX.
Blue Origin founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos wrote an open letter to NASA this week offering the agency a discount of at least $ 2 billion to reconsider its choice.
Blue Origin responded to the GAO’s announcement on Friday that the agency had not been able to resolve the “fundamental issues” of the original ruling due to limited judgment.
“It will continue to urge two immediate suppliers because we are convinced it is the right solution,” a spokesman said.
“The HLS program needs more competition now than in the future – it’s more suitable for NASA and more suitable for our country,” she added.
After failing in the tender, Blue Origin came under intense pressure to overturn the decision, which led to the passage of a bill allowing the US Senate to set aside $ 10 billion for the system.
But the text is still being debated in the House of Representatives, and his critics call it “Besot for Bezos”.
Acceptable offer of SpaceX includes a lunar version of its starship prototype. Second, in development, it should be possible to carry large crews and cargo for journeys into deeper space, and to be able to land vertically on Earth like other celestial objects.
Using the Artemis program, NASA plans to send man back to the moon in 2024 and to build an orbiting lunar station before sending a human mission to Mars in 2030.
Founded by Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX is currently a major private partner of the US space agency.
With crew-dragon modules, it began transporting astronauts to the International Space Station last year, while rival Boeing has yet to successfully complete the unmanned test flight.
Last week, SpaceX was contracted to launch a NASA mission to Jupiter’s iceberg Europe, where a probe will look for signs of life.
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