Jeff Bezos calls out NASA over 'mistake' Elon Musk moon-lander contract
"We stand ready to help NASA moderate its technical risks and solve its budgetary constraints."
Jeff Bezos has written an open letter to NASA offering to cover $2 billion for the Human Landing System program if Blue Origin is offered the contract with NASA to take astronauts to the moon.
Bezos has criticised NASA for selecting Elon Musk's SpaceX as the sole winner of the $2.9 billion contract, saying in the letter that his Blue Origin company would cover up to $2 billion for the first two years of production of a moon lander, waiving payments for the first two years if NASA awards the company the project.
The offer would make a contract with Blue Origin a cheaper option for NASA than one with Musk's company.
The Amazon founder highlights in the letter his commitment to keeping the Human Landing System program competitive by having NASA select two companies to build machinery for the missions as opposed to just one.
He writes: "Instead of this single source approach, NASA should embrace its original strategy of competition."
"Without competition, a short time into the contract, NASA will find itself with limited options as it attempts to negotiate missed deadlines, design changes, and cost overruns."
"In April (prior to your confirmation as NASA administrator), only one HLS bidder, SpaceX, was offered the opportunity to revise their price and funding profile, leading to their selection.
"Blue Origin was not offered the same opportunity. That was a mistake, it was unusual, and it was a missed opportunity. But it is not too late to remedy. We stand ready to help NASA moderate its technical risks and solve its budgetary constraints and put the Artemis Program back on a more competitive, credible, and sustainable path."
Insider reports that NASA have declined to comment on Bezos' letter in order to "maintain the integrity" of the reviewal process.
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