Last month, NASA concluded a contract with Spacex to create a ship to deliver people to the moon. The Jeff Bezos Space Company (Jeff Bezos) Blue Origin also claimed this NASA contract, and after the loss filed a complaint to the US Account Chamber. Now the US Senate can create conditions under which NASA will be obliged to conclude agreements with two contractors.
The US Senate is now considering the “law on endless boundaries” aimed at expanding funding for research in the field of science and technology, and imposing $ 110 to science in the next five years. Initially, Washington State Senator Maria Kantwelt (Maria Cantwell) planned to transfer more than $ 10 billion NASA under this law, and most of this amount would go Blue Origin. However, Senator Bernie Sanders (Bernie Sanders), also representing the Washington state, has an amendment to the bill, which cancels the subsidy of $ 10 billion. He stated that he did not see sense to finance the company belonging to the richest man of America.
Recall that Blue Origin lost a contract with NASA Spacex, since he demanded two times a large amount for their services. The proposed canvale amendments would not cancel the contract with Spacex, but would allow or even obliged NASA to conclude a contract with another company that would be Blue Origin. Senator believes that the Space Agency must necessarily conclude contracts with two companies in order to have a spare option if one of them cannot comply with the agreement. Now it remains to agree on conditions at least in terms of allocating (or not allocating).
The bill is under consideration in the Senate and it is expected that on Thursday a final vote will be held, after which he will need to go through the House of Representatives. What is interesting, according to the disclosed lobbying information, Blue Origin spent $ 625 thousand to promote its interests in the Senate for the first three months of the current year. Apparently, the company Founder Amazon really wants a contract from NASA.
Answering the issue of Edition The Intercept, whether the agency is considering Kanthell as a means of canceling the decision taken by him, the official representative of NASA Monica Witt (Monica Witt) refused to comment.
It is worth noting that this is not the only episode of the struggle between Spacex and Blue Origin for government contracts. In May 2019, Spacex filed a lawsuit to the US Federal Court against the decision of the Air Force to exclude it from the $ 2.3 billion contract for the launch of space facilities. Instead, UNITED Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin were financed.