Jeff Bezos, proprietor of Blue Origin, introduces a brand new lunar touchdown module known as Blue Moon throughout an occasion on the Washington Conference Heart, Might 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Photographs

The U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace on Friday denied protests from firms affiliated with Jeff Bezos that NASA wrongly awarded a profitable astronaut lunar lander contract solely to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The complaints have been filed by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Leidos’ subsidiary Dynetics.

“NASA didn’t violate procurement regulation or regulation when it determined to make just one award … the analysis of all three proposals was affordable, and in keeping with relevant procurement regulation, regulation, and the announcement’s phrases,” GAO managing affiliate common counsel Kenneth Patton wrote in a press release.

The GAO ruling backs the house company’s shock announcement in April that NASA awarded SpaceX with a contract worth about $2.9 billion. SpaceX was competing with Blue Origin and Dynetics for what was anticipated to be two contracts, earlier than NASA solely awarded a single contract as a consequence of a lower-than-expected allocation for this system from Congress.

SpaceX, Blue Origin, Dynetics, and NASA didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.

NASA’s choice

Starship prototype rocket SN15 launches from Boca Chica, Texas.


Blue Origin and Dynetics’ protests

Shortly after NASA’s announcement in April, Blue Origin and Dynetics each filed protests with the GAO, difficult the house company’s course of and choice.

Blue Origin in April decried the award as “flawed,” saying that NASA “moved the goalposts on the final minute.”

The corporate additionally revealed that its proposal was roughly double that of SpaceX, with a bid of $5.99 billion. NASA later revealed that Dynetics’ bid was even larger, at $8.5 billion.

Bezos’ counter

Shortly after flying himself to space on Blue Origin’s first crewed flight, Bezos wrote in a letter to NASA earlier this week that he would cowl as a lot as $2 billion within the house company’s prices for a lunar lander contract.

“We stand prepared to assist NASA average its technical dangers and clear up its budgetary constraints and put the Artemis Program again on a extra aggressive, credible, and sustainable path,” Bezos wrote within the letter.

The billionaire’s letter didn’t reference what would occur to that counteroffer if the GAO upheld NASA’s choice.

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