NASA Sued by US Company in Space Habitat Test Data Dispute

Bigelow Aerospace claims NASA owes it $1 million (roughly Rs. 7.3 crores) for space station air performance tests.

NASA Sued by US Company in Space Habitat Test Data Dispute

NASA plans to withhold the payment till the company provides "extensive, recorded raw test data"

Highlights
  • Bigelow says it completed promised work under a NASA contract
  • NASA is citing incomplete data for withholding payments
  • Bigelow says NASA is entitled to the rest of the data once it pays up

A space technology company in southern Nevada, US, is suing NASA, claiming the space agency owes it more than $1 million (roughly Rs. 7.3 crores) for work done during months of space station air performance tests last year. A NASA public affairs official did not immediately respond Monday to a message about the Bigelow Aerospace lawsuit filed Thursday in US District Court in Las Vegas. 

In it, attorneys for Bigelow say the company completed promised work under a NASA contract, but the agency has withheld payment unless the company provides "extensive, recorded raw test data" collected during tests from December 2019 through August 2020.

The lawsuit acknowledges "issues" including a power surge, computer failures, and air conditioning malfunction affected data acquisition at times during leak tests of an expandable Bigelow B330 module. 

The B330 is designed to provide a deep-space habitat for humans and cargo.

The legal filing said the issues did not prevent Bigelow Aerospace from completing tests showing that B330 pressure was maintained successfully.

Bigelow has a plant in North Las Vegas with a scenic view of the distant Las Vegas Strip.
It maintained it completed the contract as written and that NASA is entitled to the rest of the company data once it pays the $1 million (roughly Rs. 7.3 crores).


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Further reading: NASA, Bigelow Aerospace
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