Sunday, December 15, 2013

Space Race Smackdown: Musk v Bezos (AMZN; TSLA)

Mr. Bezos' Blue Origin is much more secretive than SpaceX.
From GeekWire:

NASA chooses SpaceX for launchpad lease, passing over Bezos-backed Blue Origin
In a victory for Elon Musk and a blow to Jeff Bezos, NASA said today that it has entered negotiations with SpaceX to hammer out an agreement that would allow the spaceflight company to lease the historic Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The news comes just one day after the Government Accountability Office ruled that Blue Origin, the spaceflight company backed by the Amazon founder, had lost a protest that blocked NASA from proceeding with the deal.

Blue Origin, which recently passed the 300 employee mark, filed the protest over comments made by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who said in July that the agency was closing in on a deal that may have involved one company’s exclusive use of the pad, which squared with a proposal filed by SpaceX.
A rendering of Blue Origin's crew capsul, which would be launched into space with a vertical takeoff-and-landing rocket booster.
A rendering of Blue Origin’s crew capsule, which would be launched into space with a vertical takeoff-and-landing rocket booster.
Blue Origin said that its original reading of NASA’s request for a corporate tenant was that the space agency favored an approach, that would allow multiple companies to use the launch pad, which originally played host to launches of the Apollo missions and some Space Shuttle launches. Blue Origin, based on Kent, Wash., said it made that type of proposal as a result.

However, the GAO ruled that the original request didn’t favor a multi-user approach, but simply said that companies would need to meet different requirements, depending on whether they were securing exclusive rights to the pad or not....MORE
Much more detail via NASA Watch:
LC-39A: GAO Denies Blue Origin Protest; NASA Selects SpaceX To Use It