Blue Origin has filed a lawsuit in US federal court over an agreement previously issued to Elon Musk's company. According to him, it is the module from SpaceX that will deliver the astronauts to the moon.
The story of the choice of a lunar lander is far from over. Blue Origin does not want to give up and has filed a lawsuit against the US space agency. Jeff Bezos' company believes that NASA has misjudged its initiative to create the module. Blue Origin will seek a suspension of the agreement while the case is pending.
The signing of a contract with SpaceX for the construction of the module was announced in April. Blue Origin and Dynetics projects were rejected. NASA believed that Musk's company made the most lucrative offer, but SpaceX's competitors did not like this - and they filed a protest with the American Accounts Chamber. Although this led to the suspension of the contract, the authority ultimately dismissed the complaints.
Musk's project is based on Starship, a promising manned spacecraft, the prototypes of which are now being actively tested. The lunar module was named Starship HLS: it has clearly visible structural similarities with its progenitor.
The lunar module is part of the ambitious Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon. In addition to the USA, the partners of the Americans are taking part in it: Europeans, Canadians and Japanese.
The first start on the program can be held this year, but it will be unmanned. The device will spend some time in orbit around the moon and return home. Artemis 2 assumes a manned flight to the satellite without landing on its surface: this stage will take place approximately in 2023. Finally, in the middle of the decade, the United States expects a man to land on the moon.
As the experts expected, the timing (especially for the first disembarkation of the program) is too optimistic. We recently conducted an internal review of the program, revealing serious delays in the creation of a number of key components. According to the findings, the lack of readiness of the spacesuits will lead to the fact that the landing will probably not be completed in time.
But there are also reasons for optimism. For example, the super-heavy launch vehicle that will be used for Artemis missions is in a high state of readiness. Previously, the main stage of the Space Launch System was connected to two boosters.
In turn, the Orion spacecraft (another component of Artemis) successfully completed its maiden flight back in 2014.