Blue Origin Lead Engineer Nitin Arora Joins SpaceX

August 19, 2021

Nitin Arora, the lead engineer of aerospace company Blue Origin, has jumped ship and joined rivals, SpaceX.

Blue origin is currently suing NASA for offering the moon lander contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the federal court.

An Indian-American engineer, Arora, posted on his LinkedIn profile on August 16, “Friday (August 13th) was my last day at BLUE ORIGIN. It was one hell of a ride working on the lunar program. Really honored that I got a chance to work with and lead incredibly smart, passionate people over last three years. Special thanks to everyone who I worked with daily. I will miss you all. Next stop, SpaceX! I am incredibly excited and looking forward to it.”

NASA had issued the contract of the first moon lander expedition since 1972 and had originally said that the contract will go to two of the three applicants, namely, Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Dynetics. But due to a fund crunch, the contract went to SpaceX in April who had a $2.9 billion offer compared to Blue Origin’s $5.9 billion. According to the contract, there would be two landings, one unmanned and one manned.

The Amazon subsidiary initially lodged a complaint with the Government Accountability Office about the viability of the procurement process but GAO ruled in late July that there was no unlawful action taken by NASA in the contract process.

Jeff Bezos lead Blue Origin filed a lawsuit claiming that it is better equipped for the program. “We firmly believe that the issues identified in this procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to restore fairness, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the moon for America,” said the company.

The departure of the lead engineer at such a pivotal time might be the last nail on Blue Origin’s dream of hijacking the contract.

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