Jeff Bezos and rumored fiancee Lauren Sanchez arrive in LA

Over the moon, yet? Jeff Bezos lands in LA with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez on $65m private jet after he sued NASA for giving moon contracts to Elon Musk

  • Billionaire Jeff Bezos and his rumored fiancée Lauren Sanchez were seen arriving in Los Angeles on Tuesday
  • The couple exited his $65 million private jet as all seemed well amid Bezos’ lawsuit against NASA
  • His Blue Origin space company recently filed a suit earlier this month against the US space agency, claiming it unfairly awarded contracts to create lunar landers to rival SpaceX
  • Blue Origin said NASA made a ‘high risk’ selection and questioned if Musk could get astronauts to the Moon 
  • Musk responded in a tweet that Bezos and his Blue Origin ‘can’t get it up (to orbit),’ mocking the lawsuit
  • NASA issued a temporarily halt work on the $2.9 billion lunar lander contract it awarded to SpaceX 

Jeff Bezos and his rumored fiancée, Lauren Sanchez, were seen arriving in Los Angeles aboard a $65 million private jet on Tuesday. 

The couple were spotted sat next to each other next to a window as the jet pulled up to de-board. 

Amazon billionaire Bezos was the first to exit the craft, while Sanchez, dressed in white pants and black blouse, followed him out into a black SUV. 

New of Bezos, 57, and Sanchez, 51, dating broke at the start of 2019, when Bezos announced that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, were divorcing. 

Sanchez, a reporter, was also in the middle of her own divorce to Hollywood talent agent Patrick Whitesell. 

Sanchez has been photographed twice with a ring on her engagement finger since she started dating Bezos, although the couple have never publicly confirmed that they are engaged. 

Bezos and Sanchez – who was spotted sporting a huge diamond ring on her ring finger in June – were snapped sitting next to each other inside his huge $65 million private jet  

The couple have been reportedly dating since January 2019, with Bezos previously married to MacKenzie Scott 

Jeff Bezos and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez were spotted arriving in Los Angeles aboard a private Jet on Tuesday

The power couple enjoyed their flight aboard the $65 million jet despite Bezos’ current legal battle with NASA 

Bezos, seen wearing a hat and blue shirt, was the first to exit the private jet

The billionaire is current engrossed in a lawsuit against NASA, which awarded lunar lander contracts to competitor SpaceX 

Sanchez followed behind Bezos. She reportedly held a part for him following his flight into space in July

The reporter has been photographed twice with a ring on her finger since dating Bezos

The couple’s trip to LA comes amid a heated legal battle between Bezos and NASA. 

Blue Origin, Bezos’ space flight company, recently filed a lawsuit against NASA, claiming a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract was unfairly awarded to rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX earlier this year.

The suit, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Monday, is sealed, but according to another filing, it ‘challenges NASA´s unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals.’

The company said its suit was ‘an attempt to remedy the flaws in the acquisition process found in NASA´s Human Landing System.’

Blue Origin was originally in competition with SpaceX and a third firm called Dynetics for what was expected to be two NASA contracts.

After Congress trimmed the space agency’s budget, NASA announced in April 2021 that SpaceX’s Human Landing System (HLS) would be the sole contractor.

SpaceX’s $2.91 billion contract was reportedly much lower than Blue Origin’s $5.99 billion bid. 

Though Blue Origin claims NASA had indicated it would award several contracts, in April gave Elon Musk (pictured) and his Space X the lone $2.91 billion contract to develop a lunar lander

After NASA announced Space X would be the sole contractor, Elon Musk tweeted that rival Jeff Bezos ‘can’t get it up (to orbit)’

That month, Blue Origin and Alabama-based Dynetics filed a 50-page protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a congressional watchdog.

In response, Elon Musk rolled his fellow multibillionaire Bezos, tweeting he ‘can’t get it up (to orbit).’

In July, the GAO rejected Blue Origin and Dynetics’ protest, finding ‘NASA did not violate procurement law or regulation when it decided to make only one award,’ striking down Blue Origin’s main argument.

The same month the GAO rejected the protest, Bezos became the first billionaire in space, joining his brother, Mark, 82-year-old space pioneer Wally Funk, and an 18-year-old student. 

Sanchez reportedly held a part for Bezos a few weeks later to celebrate the feat.  

Blue Origin has been working on its moon landing system, known as Blue Moon, since 2017. 

A rendering of Blue Moon, the lunar landing vehicle Blue Horizon intended to develop for NASA

An illustration of the SpaceX Starship human lander design that will carry the first NASA astronauts to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis program in 2024

‘NASA had indicated an overriding intention to make two awards but due to perceived shortfalls in currently available and anticipated future budget appropriations, it made only the award to SpaceX, eliminating HLS competition, and effectively locking down immediate and future lunar landing system development and launch and lunar landing opportunities,’ lawyers for Blue Origin.

A US judge set an October 14 hearing on the case. NASA has voluntarily agreed to halt work on the contract until November 1, according to court documents. 

NASA told ‘NASA has voluntarily paused work with SpaceX for the human landing system (HLS) Option A contract effective Aug. 19 through Nov. 1. In exchange for this temporary stay of work, all parties agreed to an expedited litigation schedule that concludes on Nov. 1.

‘NASA officials are continuing to work with the Department of Justice to review the details of the case and look forward to a timely resolution of this matter.

‘NASA is committed to Artemis and to maintaining the nation’s global leadership in space exploration. With our partners, we will go to the Moon and stay to enable science investigations, develop new technology, and create high paying jobs for the greater good and in preparation to send astronauts to Mars.’

NASA has voluntarily agreed to halt work on the contract until November 1, according to court documents


Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule

Dubbed the ‘NewSpace’ set, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk all say they were inspired by the first moon landing in 1969, when the US beat the Soviet Union in the space race, and there is no doubt how much it would mean to each of them to win the ‘new space race’.

Amazon founder Bezos had looked set to be the first of the three to fly to space, having announced plans to launch aboard his space company Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft on July 20. 

The billionaire mogul will travel with his younger brother Mark, a charity auction winner who’s shelling out $28 million and pioneering female astronaut Wally Funk, 82.

However, Branson has now announced he’s planning to make a suborbital flight nine days before Bezos and his brother. He revealed on Twitter that he plans to be Astronaut 001 on Virgin Galactic’s July 11 test flight.

Although SpaceX and Tesla founder Musk has said he wants to go into space, and even ‘die on Mars’, he has not said when he might blast into orbit. 

SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the broader billionaire space race with numerous launches carrying NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.  

On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s own red Tesla roadster attached. 

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission. 

SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network. 

Musk hopes this will provide an interconnected web of satellites around Earth which will beam down free internet to people worldwide.  

Branson and Virgin Galactic are taking a different approach to conquering space. It has repeatedly, and successfully, conducted test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity space plane. 

The first took place in December 2018 and the latest on May 22, with the flight accelerating to more than 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7). 

More than 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips. 

Branson has previously said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX. 

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.

The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.

It climbs to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier craft, White Knight II, once it has passed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere.

The spaceship will then make a suborbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 1.5 hours.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.

The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.   

Bezos is one of the richest men in the world and Blue Origin has successfully flown the New Shepard rocket 15 times.

At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometres), just above the official threshold for space and landed vertically seven minutes after liftoff.  

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