Jeff Bezos sues NASA over Elon Musk's deal with SpaceX
Jeff Bezos space firm Blue Origin has sued NASA over its decision to award a $ 2.9 billion contract to Elon Musk's $ 2.9 billion spacecraft.
Blue Origin states that there were some "fundamental problems" in that deal, calling it unfair.
The dispute arose from a decision in April to award the deal to one company, not two as expected, due to lack of funding.
NASA has not yet commented on the matter, but has the support of a federal overseer.
At a court hearing Friday, Blue Origin said it continued to believe it took two firms to build the landing system, which would transport astronauts to the lunar surface in 2024.
The firm also accused NASA of "illegal and improper evaluation" of its proposals during the tender process.
At the time of the award, NASA's chief of human research, Kathy Lueders, acknowledged that the space agency's current budget excluded it from selecting two companies. This came after Congress gave him just $ 850 million of the $ 3.3 billion he asked for the project.
NASA also cited the proven record of orbital missions by Elon Musk SpaceX firm as a factor in awarding the prize. Cost is also thought to have played a role: SpaceX's offer was the lowest price.
In July, Bezos offered to cover up to $ 2 billion in NASA costs in order to review the contract, but the proposal was rejected.
NASA must file a response to the lawsuit by October 12. SpaceX has not yet commented on the lawsuit.