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Moon Express loses lawsuit by subcontractor

Capitalism in space: Moon Express has lost a lawsuit by one of its subcontractors, who had claimed it had ceased work because the former Google Lunar X-Prize finalist had failed to pay for its work.

Intuitive Machines further claimed that Moon Express’s failure to pay harmed its business. The jury found in favor of Intuitive Machines and awarded the company $1.125 million in cash and $2.5 million in Moon Express equity related to the flight software claim. The jury also awarded Intuitive Machines $732,000 related to its work on the terrestrial return vehicle.

The importance of this story is that it suggests that Moon Express lacks sufficient capital to do what it claims. The decision further robs it of more capital.

Now it could be that Moon Express stopped paying because Intuitive Machines was not delivering good product, as Moon Express claims. The jury did not agree with this claim, however. I do wonder if the jury was sufficiently educated about the product itself.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Edward

    Oh, the irony. The jury awards a possibly bankrupting amount and also awards an equity award, valuable only if the company does not file bankruptcy. Now it is in the interest of Intuitive Machines for Moon Express to stay solvent and be successful.

  • Private

    Funny they just laid off 90% of their engineering staff according to indeed reviews

  • This article offers raises some good questions but misconstrues some of the facts about our lawsuit against Intuitive Machines. We offer the following corrections / clarifications to statements made:

    1) “Moon Express loses lawsuit by subcontractor”: Moon Express is the plaintiff in this (ongoing) lawsuit; Intuitive Machines is the Defendant. WE sued Intuitive Machine for breach of contract for non-delivery of obligated deliverables after paying them over $3M. We believe the jury did indeed get it wrong, and in the article cited, we state this and that we would be appealing the decision (which we are doing). Since the lawsuit is still being litigated, we assert that we haven’t “lost”, and we believe justice will ultimately prevail through our appeal.

    [Publicly available court documents show that Intuitive Machines offered Moon Express a cash settlement of $750K prior to the trial, suggesting that even IM believed they were in the wrong and didn’t expect the results of the jury verdict].

    2) “The importance of this story is that it suggests that Moon Express lacks sufficient capital to do what it claims.” We paid Intuitive Machines over $3M in contract payments in the course of 8 months. The publicly available court docs show that we held two payments totaling ~$500K for non-delivery of products required by the contract, but only after we provided notices of none-compliance detailing their failures to deliver the required products. We unfortunately had to resort to suing them after their continued failure to remedy. The issue was not our ability to continue paying, it was about Intuitive Machine not delivering.

    3) “The decision further robs it of more capital.” Our lawsuit against Intuitive Machines is still under litigation and Moon Express has not paid a penny to Intuitive Machines. As the article cited states, we are appealing the jury’s verdict, and we believe a higher court will agree that we are the victim and that justice will ultimately prevail.

    We hope these clarifications are helpful to set the record straight.

    Moon Express, Inc.

  • Moon Express PR: Thank you for the clarifications. Very helpful.

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