NASA has suspended the contract of $2.9 billion signed with SpaceX for the lunar lander of the Artemis mission that will bring the human being on the moon.
The decision comes after the formal complaints raised with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in recent days by Blue Origin and Dynetics against the contract.
The GAO — supervisory authority subordinate to Congress — checks, among other things, whether there may have been irregularities in the award of government contracts.
Blue Origin had argued that SpaceX got the chance to revise its offering, but Blue Origin did not. Blue Origin also criticized the fact that this decision strengthened SpaceX’s supremacy in space travel. SpaceX has been flying supplies and, more recently, crew members to the International Space Station for several years.
GAO has announced that it will investigate the award. Nasa said it had advised SpaceX that the work would have to be suspended until GAO resolved all legal disputes related to the procurement. A decision by the Court of Auditors is expected at the beginning of August at the latest.