WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) – A U.S. authorities watchdog on Friday sided with NASA over its determination to select a single lunar lander supplier, rejecting a protest filed by Blue Origin and protection contractor Dynetics Inc.
The businesses had challenged the $2.9 billion award to Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the lander, arguing NASA was required to make a number of awards. The Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) mentioned it “denied the protest arguments that NASA acted improperly in making a single award to SpaceX.”
Blue Origin, the rocket firm based by billionaire Jeff Bezos, mentioned Friday it remained satisfied that there have been “basic points” with NASA’s determination, however mentioned it believed GAO was not capable of handle them “attributable to their restricted jurisdiction.”
“We’ll proceed to advocate for 2 fast suppliers as we imagine it’s the proper resolution,” Blue Origin mentioned.
SpaceX didn’t remark however Musk despatched a tweet saying simply “GAO” with a flexed muscle emoji.
Dynetics, a unit of Leidos Holdings (LDOS.N), didn’t instantly remark.
NASA had sought proposals for a spacecraft that may carry astronauts to the lunar floor beneath its Artemis program to return people to the moon for the primary time since 1972.
In April, NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to construct such a spacecraft as early as 2024.
Blue Origin had contended NASA gave SpaceX an unfair benefit by letting it revise its pricing.
On Monday, Bezos provided to cowl as much as $2 billion in NASA prices if the U.S. house company awarded Blue Origin a lunar touchdown contract. read more
In a letter to NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson, Bezos mentioned Blue Origin would waive funds as much as $2 billion, and pay for an orbital mission to vet its expertise. In alternate, Blue Origin would settle for a agency, fixed-priced contract, and canopy any system growth price overruns.
“With out competitors, NASA’s short-term and long-term lunar ambitions will probably be delayed, will finally price extra, and will not serve the nationwide curiosity,” Bezos mentioned.
Bezos’ provide got here six days after he flew alongside three crewmates to the sting of house aboard Blue Origin’s rocket-and-capsule New Shepard.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Modifying by David Gregorio and Rosalba O’Brien
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