According to court documents, SpaceX's $3 billion contract to build a lunar lander for NASA was suspended for a second time Thursday after Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin sued over the contract award.
NASA has voluntarily agreed to temporarily suspend the contract until Nov. 1 while a U.S. federal court, where Blue Origin filed suit last week, reviews the case.
Blue Origin has asked the court to suspend SpaceX's contract while the lawsuit is pending, according to a person familiar with the company's documents. NASA, which seeks to land astronauts on the moon around 2024, has agreed to suspend SpaceX's contract on the condition that all parties agree to an "expedited trial schedule that will end Nov. 1," an agency spokesman said.
The parties' argument hearing is scheduled for Oct. 14. SpaceX intervened in the lawsuit earlier this week to "provide the court with a complete and accurate picture."
Despite delays caused by Blue Origin's protests, SpaceX has moved quickly on its Starship system and is pushing the program forward with mostly private funds. The first Starship prototype going into orbit - a key milestone in SpaceX's development - should be ready for launch in a few weeks.
But the rocket cannot be launched until the Federal Aviation Administration completes a lengthy environmental review of SpaceX's launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas, the company's central launch hub for Starship.