- Blue Origin’s lawsuit against the US government and SpaceX was again delayed over technical issues.
- Dept. of Justice lawyers on Friday asked for a four-day extension to paginate about 1,700 documents.
- Delays in the case could affect the timeline for NASA’s planned Artemis moon missions.
A deadline in Blue Origin’s lawsuit against the US government and SpaceX was pushed back again on Friday.
The postponement was blamed on the government’s struggle to add page numbers to the “extremely voluminous” case documents.
A week ago, on August 27, the Department of Justice had asked for a one-week extension, saying it was having difficulty getting 7GB of case documents into a format that could be shared with the parties. The documents were to be transferred to DVDs.
On Friday, the DOJ filed another extension request, saying a new issue had cropped up with about 1,700 case documents, which now topped out at more than 16GB.
“The record is fully complete, arranged in tabs and subtabs, and fully indexed,” DOJ lawyers wrote in an extension request on Friday. “However, the process of applying page numbering to each page of the record is taking longer than anticipated, and will not be completed by the deadline.”
The DOJ asked to delay its administrative deadline for the documents by four days, giving government staff the long Labor Day weekend to complete their pagination.
In the meantime, the DOJ said would send un-paginated DVDs of the documents to the parties as place-holders.
Blue Origin, a space-tech company founded by Jeff Bezos, last month sued the US government after NASA awarded SpaceX a sole contract to build a moon-lander for NASA’s Artemis missions.
NASA had said it planned to choose two companies but only chose one.
Delays in the lawsuit may further push back work on SpaceX’s contract. The work under that $2.9 billion contract had been put on hold in April, then restarted, then put on hold again.
NASA paused work SpaceX’s contract while the US Court of Federal Claims case moves forward, initially setting a restart date of November 1.
Delays in the case could push the work stoppage back further.
Last week, DOJ attorneys proposed a new restart date of November 8, but it was unclear from the court filings if that date had been approved by NASA or the parties.
Adobe recently told Insider it was working directly with the DOJ to help with the government’s PDF issues.
“Adobe Acrobat supports combining most large files, but we regret that it created these challenges for the DOJ,” the company said in an emailed statement.
It added: “We’re engaging with them directly to support their unique needs so they are able to maintain the quality and integrity of the original content.”