Image via Blue Origin
Just last week, Jeff Bezos offered to cover up to US$2 billion in costs in exchange for NASA’s next lunar lander contract to send astronauts to the moon.
However, there’s bad news once again for Blue Origin, as the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled that the contract would remain solely with SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space venture.
Back in April, NASA had awarded SpaceX the US$2.89 billion contract to construct the next crewed lunar lander for its Human Landing Systems program. Despite giving a 10-month study contract to SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Dynetics, NASA eventually settled only on SpaceX.
After NASA’s decision, Blue Origin and Dynetics filed a complaint with GAO, arguing that the contract was unfairly awarded to SpaceX. Following GAO’s new ruling, it seems that Bezos’ protests have fallen on deaf ears.
According to Vice, GAO said in a statement that the protesting companies “could not establish any reasonable possibility of competitive prejudice arising from this limited discrepancy in evaluation.” It also rejected complaints that it was wrong of NASA to award just a single contract.
“In denying the protests, GAO first concluded that NASA did not violate procurement law or regulation when it decided to make only one award,” said Kenneth E Patton, Managing Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law at GAO.[via Vice, cover image via Blue Origin] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415023/Jeff-Bezos-Bid-For-NASA-Moon-Lander-Contract-Fails-Despite-Offering-Billions/