The G.A.O. additionally stated 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.
“Despite this finding, the decision also concludes that the protesters could not establish any reasonable possibility of competitive prejudice arising from this limited discrepancy in the evaluation,” the G.A.O. said in a statement.
The award to SpaceX is only for the primary moon touchdown, scheduled for 2024, though few count on it would happen that quickly. “Importantly, the G.A.O.’s decision will allow NASA and SpaceX to establish a timeline for the first crewed landing on the moon in more than 50 years,” NASA stated in a press release.
NASA officers have stated they might have one other moon lander competitors open to Blue Origin, Dynetics and some other firm.
In his letter, Mr. Bezos stated NASA ought to select now to guarantee competitors. “Competition will prevent any single source from having insurmountable leverage over NASA,” he wrote.
After the choice, Blue Origin stated in a press release: “We stand firm in our belief that there were fundamental issues with NASA’s decision, but the G.A.O. wasn’t able to address them due to their limited jurisdiction. We’ll continue to advocate for two immediate providers as we believe it is the right solution.”
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 decide a second contractor right into a sprawling analysis and expertise invoice that overwhelmingly passed the Senate in June. Senator Bernie Sanders, an unbiased from Vermont, chafed on the measure, claiming that it amounted to a “bailout” for Mr. Bezos’ firm. But highly effective senators on the Commerce Committee backed it, arguing that NASA had at all times supposed to give out two awards.