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4 Nov, 2021 19:37

Court dismisses lawsuit by Bezos' Blue Origin over SpaceX/NASA contract

Court dismisses lawsuit by Bezos' Blue Origin over SpaceX/NASA contract

The lawsuit filed by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos' spaceflight company Blue Origin against rival billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX firm – and the US government, which picked SpaceX over Blue Origin – has been dismissed.

The suit, filed in federal claims court, was dismissed by Judge Richard Hertling on Thursday. The ruling bars either party from further speaking out about the details of the decision until November 18, but no financial settlements were awarded. Bezos' effort to pry SpaceX from its privileged position as the beneficiary of the $2.9 billion NASA contract to return the US space agency to the Moon has been effectively scuttled.

The Amazon founder apparently took the defeat in his stride, admitting in a tweet that it was "not the decision we wanted" but wishing "full success for NASA and SpaceX on the contract.

The NASA suit, centered on a lunar lander contract as part of the agency's massive Project Artemis, is far from the only deal on which the two billionaires have clashed, though it's certainly the most high-stakes. Not content to try to edge NASA out of Musk's grasp, Bezos, via an Amazon subsidiary called Kuiper Systems, wrote to the Federal Communications Commission in August in an effort to prevent Musk's satellite company Starlink from deploying another round of high-speed internet-providing satellites. 

While the outcome of that scuffle -if any- has not been made public, Kuiper hopes to launch its first two prototype satellites in the fourth quarter of 2022 using a rocket designed by ABL Space Systems. 

Despite his repeated public mockery of Bezos' lawsuits, Musk's own company sued the US government back in 2019 for its "arbitrary and capricious" decision to favor rivals like Blue Origin over SpaceX.

Also on rt.com SpaceX sues US Air Force for awarding lucrative contracts to 'paper rocket' builders like Bezos

It's far from the only time the Tesla tycoon has taken others to court, as Bezos revealed in September, releasing a 13-page list of a whopping 39 legal actions pursued by SpaceX over the years. Bezos, it seems, was tired of Musk's jokes focusing on his inability to "sue his way to the moon." Musk, however, retorted that his lawsuits were seeking the ability to compete, accusing Bezos of trying to stifle competition.

Not content to let the Artemis contract ruling go down without a comment, Musk managed to get in one last jab at Bezos, posting a meme informing the Amazon founder that he had been "judged." 

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