Blue Origin – the space company led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos – received a small victory on Monday after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) upheld its protest call for an announcement
The award went to two companies for many national security satellite contracts planned until 2027. The lucrative contracts would be split between the two winners.  GAO determined that the basis for choosing a winner was "inconsistent with applicable procurement law and legislation "because it did not provide a reasonable common ground for which bids were expected to" compete and have their proposals evaluated. "
Blue Origin challenged the process ̵
In a statement to FOX Business, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith thanked GAO for investigating the "serious issues."
"This is an important mission for Blue Origin, and we remain committed to our long-term partnership with the Air Force and to cooperate with them in addressing GAO recommendations," Smith said.
According to a copy of Blue Origins complaint as viewed by Defense News, the company had problems with several parts of the request for proposals, claiming that the selection process – looking for the two competitors that gave the best value – was too vague, and also included a provision that allows bidders to list spare parts should a problem arise with the new rocket, especially that part may seem to benefit United Launch Alliance (a joint Lockheed Martin and Boeing company) and SpaceX, both of which already have rockets certified by the Air Force.
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Last year, the Air Force awarded $ 2.3 billion to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and ULA to develop rockets that met its launch requirements. SpaceX filed a lawsuit after it was issued.
Winners of the satellite contract were expected to be announced in 2020. Competitors include United Launch Alliance, Elon Musk's SpaceX and Northrop Grumman. Blue Origins new Glenn rocket is not expected to be launched until 2021.
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United Launch Alliance was the company the Air Force turned to for several years to fill these types of jobs. In 2014, SpaceX filed a lawsuit claiming to compete – and it has done so several times since.
Meanwhile, Amazon recently challenged the Pentagon over its decision to crown Microsoft as the winner in the race for the winner-take-all $ 10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.
Amazon's cloud unit, Amazon Web Services, believes the race contained both "errors" and "unmistakable bias."
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Amazon had been considered the foremost path because of its other standing cloud agreements, including a $ 600 million cloud contract with the CIA. This indicates that the company has already approved the handling of sensitive government data. However, the company was established in public controversy.