“I do,” Mr. Nelson mentioned. “Competition is always good.”
Mr. Smith mentioned that with comparable packages up to now, just like the house station missions, NASA had employed a couple of firm although it lacked certainty on future budgets.
The Blue Origin-led bid, at $6.zero billion, was greater than double the value of SpaceX’s. But Mr. Smith mentioned NASA had gone again to SpaceX and negotiated the value of its proposal, although it didn’t have comparable discussions with the opposite two groups.
“We didn’t get a chance to revise and that’s fundamentally unfair,” Mr. Smith mentioned.
Less than $9 billion would have paid for 2 landers, and that’s akin to the $8.three billion price of the industrial crew program that now supplies transportation to the house station, the protest argued.
“NASA is getting some great, great value from these proposals,” Mr. Smith mentioned.
NASA’s evaluations of the bids gave rankings of “acceptable” on the technical points of Blue Origin’s and SpaceX’s proposals. Dynetics’s ranking was decrease, at “marginal.” SpaceX’s administration was considered “outstanding,” whereas Blue Origin and its companions have been judged, “very good,” as was Dynetics.
Mr. Smith mentioned NASA misjudged points of its proposal, just like the communications system and redundancy in steering and navigation, as weaknesses. He additionally mentioned it downplayed the dangers in SpaceX’s design like the necessity to refuel Starship in orbit, which has by no means been tried earlier than.
The NASA evaluators “largely dismissed the difficulty in the number of launches and rendezvous required in SpaceX’s proposed solution,” Mr. Smith mentioned. “The risk of SpaceX development is high.”
The Government Accountability Office has 100 days to decide on the protest.
This shouldn’t be the primary time that Blue Origin and SpaceX have battled over a NASA contract. In 2013, NASA selected SpaceX to take over Pad 39A on the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which had been used for Saturn 5 launches throughout Apollo after which launches of the house shuttles.