The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Space Exploration Technologies Corp are likely to face some protest from Sierra Nevada Corp. against the $2.6 billion “space taxi” contracts. According to the filed protest, Sierra Nevada has requested to block the awarded contract.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration picked The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and SpaceX for ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the first time that NASA has chosen commercial ventures for transporting astronauts into the orbit. NASA is to give $4.2 billion to The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) to refine its seven-seater CST-100 Capsule. Further, the agency will give $2.6 billion to SpaceX for the development of its interplanetary travel ship, Dragon V2. As of now, SpaceX delivers Cargo to the International Space Station under its existing contract.
NASA said that both The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and SpaceX are allowed to conduct up to 6 missions under the Commercial Crew Transportation Contract and NASA will make payments depending upon the companies’ milestone achievements.
According to Sierra Nevada Corp, the company offered a proposal that could have saved up to $900 million as compared to the current awardees of the contract and their proposal was technically “near equivalent” to the agreed ones. The company has raised “serious questions and inconsistencies” in the contract awarding process and Sierra Nevada has filed legal challenge with the Government Accountability Office against the same.
GAO would be required to make a decision in the next 100 days and Sierra Nevada said that it is the first time when the company has questioned the Government’s decision. Sierra Nevada Crop entered with its Dream Chaser for the contract, although NASA has retired the same in 2011.
This article has been written by Prakash Pandey and edited by Serkan Unal.