U.S. judge rejects Blue Origin challenge to NASA's pick of SpaceX moon lander

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Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos unveils the BE-7 rocket motor that his abstraction institution Blue Origin's abstraction exploration lunar lander rocket called Blue Moon volition usage during an unveiling lawsuit successful Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Nov 4 (Reuters) - A national justice connected Thursday rejected a suit by Jeff Bezos' abstraction institution Blue Origin against the U.S. authorities implicit NASA's determination to grant a $2.9 cardinal lunar lander declaration to rival billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Judge Richard Hertling of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims successful Washington granted the government's question to disregard the suit filed connected Aug. 16. The judge's sentiment explaining his reasoning was sealed, arsenic were galore different documents successful the case, pending a gathering of the parties aboriginal this period connected projected redactions.

Blue Origin, created by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) laminitis Bezos, has said its suit was "an effort to remedy the flaws successful the acquisition process recovered successful NASA's Human Landing System."

Responding to the judge's decision, a Blue Origin spokesperson said the issues the institution raised successful the suit inactive indispensable beryllium addressed, and cited its different ongoing enactment with the U.S. abstraction agency.

"We are afloat engaged with NASA to mature sustainable lander designs, behaviour a wide assortment of exertion hazard reductions, and supply Commercial Lunar Payload Services," the spokesperson said successful a statement.

Blue Origin did not instantly respond to a question connected whether it would entreaty the ruling.

A fewer days aft the suit was filed, NASA halted work connected the lunar lander declaration done Nov. 1. NASA said the intermission was portion of an statement among the parties to expedite the litigation schedule, which culminated successful Thursday's ruling.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) successful July sided with the NASA implicit its determination to prime a azygous lunar lander provider, rejecting Blue Origin's protest.

Although the Blue Origin ailment was directed astatine the U.S. government, SpaceX, headed by Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) CEO Musk, joined the proceedings arsenic an intervener suspect soon aft the suit was filed.

NASA had sought proposals for a spacecraft that would transportation astronauts to the lunar aboveground nether its Artemis programme to instrumentality humans to the satellite for the archetypal clip since 1972.

Reporting by Peter Szekely successful New York; Editing by Will Dunham

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