The G.A.O. additionally mentioned that NASA had pretty evaluated the three proposals, and though it agreed that NASA had improperly waived one requirement for SpaceX, that mistake was not critical sufficient to benefit redoing the competitors.
“Regardless of this discovering, the choice additionally concludes that the protesters couldn’t set up any cheap chance of aggressive prejudice arising from this restricted discrepancy within the analysis,” the G.A.O. mentioned in a press release.
The award to SpaceX is only for the primary moon touchdown, scheduled for 2024, though few anticipate it should happen that quickly. “Importantly, the G.A.O.’s determination will enable NASA and SpaceX to ascertain a timeline for the primary crewed touchdown on the moon in additional than 50 years,” NASA mentioned in a press release.
NASA officers have mentioned they might have one other moon lander competitors open to Blue Origin, Dynetics and every other firm.
In his letter, Mr. Bezos mentioned NASA ought to select now to make sure competitors. “Competitors will stop any single supply from having insurmountable leverage over NASA,” he wrote.
After the choice, Blue Origin mentioned in a press release: “We stand agency in our perception that there have been basic points with NASA’s determination, however the G.A.O. wasn’t in a position to handle them as a consequence of their restricted jurisdiction. We’ll proceed to advocate for 2 speedy suppliers as we consider it’s the proper resolution.”
In an effort to prod NASA into reopening the competitors, the chairwoman of the Commerce Committee, Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, the place Blue Origin is headquartered, added a bipartisan provision requiring the company to choose a second contractor right into a sprawling analysis and expertise invoice that overwhelmingly handed the Senate in June. Senator Bernie Sanders, an impartial from Vermont, chafed on the measure, claiming that it amounted to a “bailout” for Mr. Bezos’ firm. However highly effective senators on the Commerce Committee backed it, arguing that NASA had all the time meant to offer out two awards.