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Photo: Aubrey Gemignani/NASA via Getty Images

NASA has told Elon Musk's SpaceX to pause work under an exclusive Moon program contract until the Government Accountability Office rules on rival bidders' challenges, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Companies including Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin vied for the contract as a source of funding to build a lunar spacecraft. The high-profile project is looking to send humans back to the Moon for the first time since 1972.

  • Blue Origin filed a protest with the GAO earlier this week, claiming among other things that the SpaceX contract would enable a monopoly on space exploration.
  • The GAO's ruling is expected Aug. 4 at the latest.

Go deeper

Apr 29, 2021 - Science

Jeff Bezos teases tickets to space

Photo: Getty Images

Jeff Bezos' space company Blue Origin teased the start of ticket sales for its New Shepard rocket on Thursday.

Driving the news: In a video, Jeff Bezos wears a cowboy hat (channeling Kimbal Musk) and drives a Rivian, an electric truck contracted by Amazon, to a New Shepard test flight landing site.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, killing at least three people and wounding many others on Saturday afternoon, per a Liberty County Sheriff's Office statement to media outlets.

Details: Some 147 passengers and 13 crew were aboard the Empire Builder train, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, when five cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in an emailed statement.

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.

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