Blue Origin-HLS lawsuit built on SpaceX’s use of Flight Readiness Reviews

A federal court released a redacted copy of Blue Origin’s lawsuit against NASA’s Human Landing System selection. In it, we get our first glimpse at what Blue Origin is basing this lawsuit over.

The redacted copy of Blue Origin’s lawsuit against NASA seems to be built on SpaceX’s use of Flight Readiness Reviews. They argue that SpaceX won’t be performing a FRR for every Starship flight, instead just one. Blue Origin also continues to argue that their system was the superior choice, stating Starship is “tremendously high risk and immensely complex.”

SpaceX’s HLS Starship variant will require several orbital refueling missions before its trip to lunar orbit. This technology has yet to be demonstrated but would be needed for all Starship missions outside of low Earth orbit.

SpaceX denies Blue Origin’s FRR claims

In a document responding to Blue Origin’s claims, SpaceX clarified that they would do FRRs for every launch. The confusion came from SpaceX’s proposed payment milestone for the final FRR, but that only deals with when SpaceX gets paid – not how many FRRs the company will do. They reinforced their claim stating that “FRRs are standard procedure for every SpaceX launch.”

Of course, we will still have to wait for the lawsuit’s conclusion and an official decision on the contract. Although from what we can see currently, the arguments Blue Origin makes will not change why they were not selected: high price and low technical competence.

NASA’s stay on working with and paying SpaceX ends on the first of November, but we are unsure if it will be extended if litigation has not finished by then.

Download and read the entire Blue Origin document for yourself.

And here is the best copy of the SpaceX rebuttal we have publicly.

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