Blue Origin sues NASA over Human Landing System contract

WASHINGTON — Blue Origin has filed swimsuit in opposition to NASA in federal courtroom, arguing that the company didn’t correctly consider its proposal for the company’s Human Touchdown System program, a procurement gained by SpaceX.

Blue Origin filed swimsuit Aug. 13 within the Courtroom of Federal Claims, which has jurisdiction over bid protests after evaluations by the Authorities Accountability Workplace. The corporate sought a protecting order, sealing paperwork it filed within the case. The courtroom granted that protecting order Aug. 16.

The corporate mentioned it requested the protecting order “to guard confidential, proprietary, and supply choice data contained within the Criticism, and different filings and listening to transcripts on this bid protest.”

Solely within the movement to seal filings within the case did Blue Origin explicitly state that the case was in regards to the HLS “Choice A” award that NASA made to SpaceX in April. “Extra particularly, this bid protest challenges NASA’s illegal and improper analysis of proposals submitted underneath the HLS Choice A BAA,” or broad company announcement, the corporate mentioned within the movement.

“Blue Origin filed swimsuit within the U.S. Courtroom of Federal Claims in an try to treatment the issues within the acquisition course of present in NASA’s Human Touchdown System,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement to table4. “We firmly consider that the problems recognized on this procurement and its outcomes should be addressed to revive equity, create competitors, and guarantee a secure return to the Moon for America.”

Blue Origin and Dynetics filed separate protests with the GAO in April, arguing NASA improperly evaluated their proposals in comparison with SpaceX, and that NASA erred in making solely a single award reasonably than revising the competitors or canceling it totally. The GAO rejected these arguments, denying the protests July 30.

The GAO went into extra element about its denial of the protests in an Aug. 10 public model of its determination doc. It discovered no proof that NASA improperly evaluated the proposals, concluding that “the document adequately helps NASA’s analysis of the protesters’ proposals and was in step with relevant procurement legislation, regulation, and the phrases” of the solicitation.

The GAO additionally concluded that NASA was inside its rights to make solely a single award, because the company made clear within the Choice A solicitation that it might make a number of awards, a single award or none in any respect.

Blue Origin didn’t again down after the discharge of the 76-page GAO determination. “The GAO report confirms NASA’s need for a number of awards and confirms that there have been vital points with how NASA performed this procurement course of,” the corporate mentioned in an Aug. 11 assertion. “We stand by our evaluation that SpaceX obtained preferential remedy by conducting unique negotiations with them.”

In the identical assertion, Blue Origin once more referred to as on NASA to make a second HLS award, regardless of the dearth of funding to assist such a deal. “We proceed to induce NASA to revive competitors and instantly award a second supplier,” the corporate mentioned. “Two suppliers guarantee better security and mission success, promote competitors, and management prices.”

Through the GAO protest, NASA halted work on the HLS award to SpaceX, however transferred $300 million to the corporate on July 30, the day the GAO denied the protests. It was not instantly clear if the Blue Origin swimsuit within the Courtroom of Federal Claims will pressure one other stop-work order on the contract.

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