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 severe sufficient to benefit redoing the competitors.
“Regardless of this discovering, the choice additionally concludes that the protesters couldn’t set up any cheap risk of aggressive prejudice arising from this restricted discrepancy within the analysis,” the G.A.O. mentioned in an announcement.
The award to SpaceX is only for the primary moon touchdown, scheduled for 2024, though few count on it’s going to happen that quickly. “Importantly, the G.A.O.’s choice will permit NASA and SpaceX to ascertain a timeline for the primary crewed touchdown on the moon in additional than 50 years,” NASA mentioned in an announcement.
NASA officers have mentioned they might have one other moon lander competitors open to Blue Origin, Dynetics and another 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 an announcement: “We stand agency in our perception that there have been elementary points with NASA’s choice, however the G.A.O. wasn’t capable of deal with them attributable to their restricted jurisdiction. We’ll proceed to advocate for 2 quick suppliers as we imagine it’s the proper answer.”
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 know-how 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 supposed to offer out two awards.