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NASA tells SpaceX to halt lunar lander work pending contract challenges 

On this handout supplied by NASA, Performing NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk watches the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the balcony of Operations Help Constructing II carrying the corporate’s Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASAs SpaceX Crew-2 mission with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA (European House Company) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide onboard on April 23, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

NASA | Getty Pictures

U.S. house company NASA has instructed Elon Musk‘s SpaceX to halt work beneath a contract it gained to develop a lunar spacecraft, pending the end result of challenges by rival bidders on the U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace, the company mentioned on Friday.

NASA’s choice means SpaceX has to cease any work particularly associated to the moon program contract till the GAO makes a ruling, anticipated Aug. 4 on the newest.

A SpaceX spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Earlier this month, NASA awarded SpaceX the lunar contract over billionaire Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin and protection contractor Dynetics.

The high-profile challenge goals to place people again on the moon for the primary time since 1972.

Blue Origin on Monday filed a protest with the GAO, arguing amongst different issues that NASA gave SpaceX the prospect to revise its bid however didn’t give that likelihood to Blue Origin.

Blue Origin additionally argues the choice extends SpaceX’s “monopolistic” management in house exploration.

The GAO confirmed that Dynetics has additionally challenged the NASA contract award to SpaceX.

“Pursuant to the GAO protests, NASA instructed SpaceX that progress on the HLS (human touchdown system) contract has been suspended till GAO resolves all excellent litigation associated to this procurement,” the company mentioned on Friday.

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