SpaceX to continue with protest against U.S. Air Force despite winning the launch contract 

WASHINGTON- SpaceX states in a court document filed on August 19 that it is continuing with a lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force over the contracts awarded to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman, and United Launch Alliance in October 2018.

The document has also incorporated the Air Force’s feedback in a “joint notice,” and SpaceX restates its assertion made in protest of May 2019.  The Air Force granted a biased advantage to other firms by rewarding Launch Service Agreements that saw SpaceX being excluded. The Air Force announced on August 7 that ULA and SpaceX were chosen as the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 initiation services procurement winners, with SpaceX getting 40 percent and ULA acquiring 60 percent of nationwide security launches in a spun of five years.

Even though Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin failed to emerge the winners of Phase 2 deals and SpaceX emerged the winners, the firm insists that the October 2018 verdict of the Air Force caused irreparable harm to SpaceX. It gave ULA a significant benefit in winning the bigger share of Phase 2 launches.

The LSA contract point was to assist Phase 2 contestants in paying for the development of launch vehicles and infrastructure. SpaceX contended for an award; however, they did not get one. In the August 19 document that is with the U.S. District Court for California’s Central District, SpaceX confirms that the August 7 prize does not alter the original complaint’s underlying motives.

 The filing of August 19 confirms that SpaceX is disputing the Air Force’s actions that arose before the commencement of the Phase 2 contest. The Phase 2 competition rewards of August 7, 2020, do not affect the substantive hardships stated by SpaceX to the contest and reward verdict in the Launch Service Agreement.

The document read that even though the Phase 2 award alleviated SpaceX’s damage from the flawed and unlawful LSA award verdicts, substantial damage to SpaceX still lingers. The document added that unlike its opponents, SpaceX contented in the Phase 2 contest without the advantage of government venture and technical exchanges of information under the LSA. 

SpaceX requests the court to decree the LSA awards as biased, which would force the Air Force to terminate the $967 million six-year contract with ULA. The contracts with Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin would end anyway since they failed to win a Phase 2 agreement. 

Sharan Stone

By Sharan Stone

Sharan Stone has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade and has contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and the Oakland Tribune. As a founder and journalist for Daily Research Photographer, Sharon covers national and international developments.You can contact her at [email protected]