SpaceX Lunar Starship Delayed by 100 Days Over Bidding Disputes

Blue Origin and Dynetics each filed protests with GAO over NASA’s selection of SpaceX for the Human Lunar Landing System. Two weeks ago, NASA chose SpaceX to proceed into development, awarding it a $2.99 billion fixed price contract. It is for the first Artemis landing and a precursor uncrewed flight test. NASA is issuing a separate solicitation for landing systems for future missions.

A now has told SpaceX to stop work until GAO determines the outcome.

NASA earlier had insisted it wanted to pick two winners to ensure redundancy. Its decision in favor of only SpaceX caught everyone by surprise.

NASA’s Source Selection Statement (SSS) explained it simply did not have enough money to proceed with two. For FY2021, Congress appropriated just 25 percent ($850 million) of the $3.4 billion NASA requested for HLS. The SSS said the agency barely had enough for SpaceX’s bid, which was the lowest, adding that it had gone back to SpaceX to ask for a best and final offer, but not the other two companies. SpaceX did not change its price, but did modify when payments are due.

Blue Origin said NASA should have given all bidders a chance to revisit their bids.

SpaceX Lunar Lander is the lowest price and largest lunar landing system. It will be able to have long duration missions without further modification.

SOURCES – NASA, GAO, pacepolicyonline
Written by Brian Wang,