Bezos’ Company Loses Challenge to NASA SpaceX Lunar Lander Contract
The GAO also said that NASA evaluated all three proposals fairly, and while it agreed that NASA improperly waived a requirement for SpaceX, that mistake was not serious enough to merit re-competing.
“Despite this finding, the ruling also concludes that the protesters could not establish any reasonable possibility of competitive injury resulting from this limited difference in assessment,” GAO said in a statement.
The price at SpaceX is only for the first moon landing, scheduled for 2024, although few expect it to happen so soon. “It is important to note that the GAO decision will allow NASA and SpaceX to establish a timeline for the first crewed moon landing in more than 50 years,” NASA said in a statement.
NASA officials have said they will open another lunar lander competition to Blue Origin, Dynetics and any other company.
In his letter, Bezos said NASA should choose to compete now. “Competition will prevent a single source from having insurmountable leverage over NASA,” he wrote.
After the decision, Blue Origin said in a statement, “We remain firmly convinced that there were fundamental issues with the NASA decision, but GAO was unable to resolve them due to its jurisdiction. limited. We will continue to advocate for two immediate suppliers because we believe this is the right solution.
In an effort to push NASA to reopen the competition, Trade Committee Chair Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, where Blue Origin is headquartered, added a bipartisan provision requiring the agency to choose a second entrepreneur in a sprawling research and technology bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate in June. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, was angered at the measure, saying it was a “bailout” for Mr. Bezos’ company. But powerful senators on the Trade Committee backed him, arguing that NASA had always intended to award two awards.
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