Billionaire Elon Musk & # 39; s SpaceX accused the US Air Force of breaking contract rules when awarding money to three rocket manufacturers, but passed Musk & # 39; s competition bid, saying that the bid was to be reopened, according to a non-terminated lawsuit. on Wednesday.
In the complaint, Space Exploration Technologies Corp stated that contracts were signed for three "unbuilt, uninhibited" rocket systems that would not be ready to fly under the government's timeline, "defeating the vast majority of targets" described by the Air Force program.
SpaceX asked the court to force the Air Force to reopen the $ 2.3 billion competition competition and look at Hawthorne, California-based company proposals.
The agreement is part of a defense department to ensure constant military access to space and anchor trust in Russian-made RD-1[ads1]80 engines.
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At the water's edge ran for dominance in the space industry, new entrants including SpaceX and billionaire Jeff Bezos & # 39; Blue Origin compete for lucrative military launch service contracts. The arena has long been dominated by established companies such as the Boeing Co-Lockheed Martin Corps United Launch Alliance (ULA).
ULA was awarded $ 967 million under the program to develop the high-rise Vulcan rocket, Blue Origin won $ 500 million for its New Glenn rocket, and Northrop Grumman Corp. was awarded $ 791.6 million for its Omega rocket development .
In separate court cases this week, all three companies claimed that they should be parties to the lawsuit because of their direct economic interest in the outcome.
A SpaceX spokesperson said the company sued to "secure a tender document." Air Force and ULA representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Blue Origin refused to comment.
SpaceX's complaint was filed with the US Defense Case on Friday during a seal, along with a request that the court keep the case secret under a protection order, referring to proprietary information. An edited complaint was filed on Wednesday.
SpaceX claimed that air force broke contract rules at five different counts and asked the court to stop deliveries of the price to the three companies and force a reassessment of the proposals. Air Force rejected a formal objection from SpaceX in April about the terms of the prize.
SpaceX has sued the government over contracts before, most prominent in 2014 to protest against a multibillion-dollar, non-competition contract for 36 rocket launches to the United Launch Alliance. There was a lawsuit after the air force agreed to open up the competition.