Although it’s extremely well-documented by this point, it is still difficult to quantify our pure, unadulterated loathing of Jeff Bezos, and yet credit where credit is due: the man continually finds new and novel ways to hate every fiber of his being. The latest motivation comes from news that the former Amazon CEO, recent cosmic tourist, and Billionaire Boyz Club member would rather entangle NASA in lengthy, expensive legal challenges than allow them to proceed with their 2024 Artemis lunar landing without his undeniably phallic Blue Origin rockets.
The new, dramatic turn of events comes after months’ of back-and-forth between the space agency and Bezos. Back in April, NASA surprised everyone by skipping ahead in its previously announced bidding competition between a trio of third-party project partners — Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Dynetics — by selecting Elon Musk’s company instead of two finalists, as many assumed would happen. Deeply wounded by this perceived injustice, Bezos then penned a ridiculously thirsty open letter to NASA essentially calling out its decision while simultaneously offering to ostensibly bribe the judges with $3 billion in subsidies, among other promises.
Bezos then filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), delaying the project while the organization adjudicated the matter. Following the GAO’s recent denial of Bezos’ issues, he and Blue Origin have moved for federal courts to intercede on grounds of “NASA’s unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals submitted under the HLS Option A BAA.”
Blue Origin remains in the “dark” — The GAO wasted no time in responding with a detailed, 76-page report laying out not only why NASA totally has the right to choose whoever it wants to do business with in this situation, but that Blue Origin’s proposal also straight-up sucked compared to the one from Space X.
“Bezos said NASA had unfairly evaluated Blue Origin. For example, the company argued that it was not specified that the vehicle should be able to land in the dark,” explains Yahoo News, adding in a delightful bit of snark that, “The GAO contended that NASA was not required to lay out all minute details, and Blue Origin should take into account the conditions on the moon or space itself — which is dark.”
Where we go from here remains to be seen. It doesn’t seem like anyone other than Bezos thinks his challenges have any real legal merit, and as such will simply delay the inevitable ruling that NASA — citing budgetary constraints imposed on it by Congress — is completely within its rights to pick a single partner as opposed to multiple companies, much less Blue Origin alone.