Blue Origin has been dealt a major blow, with a federal judge ruling against its suit aimed at forcing NASA to reconsider its bid.
NASA solicited bids from multiple companies to build its next lunar lander. Despite initially signaling that it preferred to use multiple vendors, the agency ultimately decided on an exclusive contract with SpaceX due to cost concerns. SpaceX’s proposal scored higher and cost roughly half of Blue Origin’s.
Blue Origin challenged the decision with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and then sued when the GAO refused to overturn NASA’s decision. Subsequent documents revealed that Blue Origin made a risky gamble, counting on NASA accepting its bid and then renegotiating a better price, or getting more funding from Congress.
According to The Washington Post, a federal judge has ruled against Blue Origin’s suit, paving the way for NASA to move forward with SpaceX’s proposal. Despite the repeated setbacks, Blue Origin said in a statement that it will continue to press the case.
At this juncture, it’s once again worth pointing out Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos’ previous comments about how fast and efficiently procurement worked for the original Apollo missions, and how different it is now.
“Today there would be three protests and the losers would sue the federal government because they didn’t win…the thing that slows things down is procurement…it’s become the bigger bottleneck than the technology.”
Bezos should know…