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Justice proves NASA right against Blue Origin … and Musk drives the point home

After weeks of legal battle, the tribunal handed down its verdict: SpaceX remains NASA’s only partner for the future HLS.

HLS soap opera, continuation and end: after months of legal battles and invectives by intervening lawyers, Judge Richad Hertling ended up delivering his verdict in the HLS case. In the end, Blue Origin definitely lost its standoff against NASA.

For once, Jeff Bezos was even a good loser. As soon as the verdict was announced, the founder of Amazon went to Twitter to bring out the white flag. A good player, he announced that Blue Origin β€œrespect the decision”Of the court. He also wished β€œgood luck” to SpaceX and NASA in their collaboration on the future moon lander for the Artemis mission.

But the same cannot be said of the founder of SpaceX, pretty pissed off by the repeated trials of Blue Origin. Knowing their status as rivals and his disenchantment with Bezos as a person, he probably must have gloated upon hearing the verdict. And the least we can say is that his reaction was not so elegant. He could not resist the temptation to drive the point home in a slightly childish way, and decidedly very… Muskian.

Artemis preparations can finally resume

As a reminder, this story began when the private contracts of NASA were awarded. The object of all envy was then the HLS lander, a true media grail of the future Artemis mission. Originally, NASA was considering offering two different contracts. But at the end of a maneuver, to say the least, questionable from a strategic and ethical point of view, Blue Origin found itself ousted from the program; even worse, it is its best enemy SpaceX which has carved out the lion’s share for this so prestigious mission. Annoyed at having been dismissed, Blue Origin chose the scorched earth policy. At the instigation of Bezos, the firm deployed a judicial arsenal consequently which paralyzed the entire space program for many weeks.

If this verdict is bad news for Bezos and his family, it is quite the opposite for SpaceX and NASA. They can thus resume their co-development where they left off before Blue Origin made its own. β€œNASA to resume work with Space X as soon as possible”, Soberly announced the agency in a communicated.

But if there is one character trait that cannot be denied in Jeff Bezos, it is his stubbornness. It would be very presumptuous to think that he was going to be patient in his corner. No way for him to watch the Artemis missions take off from his sofa. Blue Origin has already announced that it intends to be a part of the program, one way or another.

If the long-awaited lull has therefore arrived, it may well be short-lived. Until we know what new move Bezos is up to, Artemis’ preparations can finally resume. At least for now.

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