Blue Origin sued NASA over a lunar exploration contract won by SpaceX.

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source: edition.cnn.com

Jeff Bezos' space company thus entered into a public controversy with its rival tycoon Elon Musk.

Blue Origin, the space company owned by Jeff Bezos, issuing the US government over its decision to award a massive lunar exploration contract to its competitor SpaceX, said in a Monday statement.

According to the statement, the company has filed a lawsuit in the US Federal Claims Court "seeking to rectify the flaws in the manner in which the contract was awarded."

In April, a 2. 2.9 billion Human Landing System (HLS) contract was awarded to SpaceX, owned by Bezos billionaire rival Elon Musk.

Other bidders also protested, saying that NASA needed to be given multiple awards and that the evaluation process was unfair.

We strongly believe that this achievement and the results identified in it should focus on restoring equality, creating competition, and ensuring a safe return to the Moon for the United States. 

Since losing the contract, Blue Origin has lobbied hard for the decision to be reversed. It lodged a protest with the government's accountability office, but the watchdog confirmed NASA's decision in July.

NASA said in a statement Monday that it was notified of the Blue Origin lawsuit and that it is reviewing the case.

"With our partners, we will go to the Moon and stay to conduct scientific research, develop new technology and create high-paying jobs for the common good and in preparation to send astronauts to Mars," the statement said.

Under the Artemis program, NASA plans to return humans to the Moon in the middle of this decade and build a lunar orbital station before a human-crewed mission is sent to Mars in the 2030s.

Musk's company, founded in 2002, is now NASA's leading private sector partner.

The tycoon who owns Amazón offered in late July to cover up to $ 2 billion in NASA costs if the US space agency awards Blue Origin a contract to build a spacecraft designed to return astronauts to the Moon.

Blue Origin had partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp, and Draper on the offering.

On July 20, Bezos rocketed into outer space, a key moment for a new industry that wants to make the final frontier accessible to elite tourists, accompanied by his brother and two other passengers who marked history as the youngest space traveler and the oldest.

Blue Origin charted its first human-crewed mission, an 11-minute jump from West Texas to beyond the Karman Line and vice versa, to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the Moon landing.

Joining Bezos were aviator Funk, now 82, the oldest astronaut in history, and 18-year-old Dutchman Oliver Daemon, who became the youngest.

Rounding out the quartet is Jeff Bezos' younger brother and best friend, Mark, who runs the Bezos Family Foundation and works as a volunteer firefighter.