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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company has lost a lawsuit against Nasa over a multi-billion dollar contract awarded to SpaceX, prompting Elon Musk to celebrate by posting a meme aimed at his billionaire rival.
The US Federal Court of Claims ruled that the bidding process for the $2.9 billion contract, which was awarded in April, was fair.
The ruling allows SpaceX to continue developing its Starship rocket for the Artemis mission, which aims to return humans to the Moon by 2024.
Blue Origin had originally claimed that Nasa “disregarded key flight safety requirements” in awarding SpaceX the contract.
Mr Musk responded to the verdict on Twitter with a meme of the fictional character Judge Dredd, together with the text “You have been judged”.
The lawsuit has delayed cooperation between Nasa and SpaceX, meaning the 2024 target may not be reached.
SpaceX’s next-generation Starship space craft has already conducted successful flight tests and is aiming to carry out the first ever orbital test later this month.
More to follow.