SpaceX owner Elon Musk has lamented after rival companies were awarded contracts that were not given transparently according to him. The United States billionaire has hence accused the U.S. government of breaking rules set upon in the issuance of such contracts.
The U.S Air Force awarded contracts to three rocket-maker companies over Musk’s SpaceX. The three awarded companies are United Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman, and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin.
Reasons why SpaceX was not awarded the contract by the U.S. Air Force
The proposal offered by SpaceX was not as per the regulations of the U.S. government. Musk at one point in time told Patrick Shanahan, the acting Secretary of Defense that his company was not up for the competition due to the poor proposal his company had forwarded. This statement itself makes Musk’s lawsuit complicated.
Secondly, the fact that Elon Musk has had quite a difficult time in managing the losses of his companies is another reason why he was not offered the contract. Lockheed, Northrup, and Boeing are all successful in space flights over a long period.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue origin has also proved its worth by being competitive and top-notch in the industry. As seen by many entrepreneurs, the Amazon CEO is considered successful in every business he is in.
Tesla a multi-billion company owned by Elon Musk is also among the companies crumbling down due to financial implications. The company has already secured $5.3 billion from the taxpayers whereas Musk has provided less as compared to the amount collected. The LA Times made a report that SpaceX has received $5 billion as federal subsidies.
SpaceX has hence requested the court to pile pressure on the U.S. Air force to once again open the Launch Service Agreements in order to reconsider the California-based industry the $2.3 billion proposals. This pact is part of the Defense initiative aimed at ensuring constant military access on the road to space and helps prevent dependence on the RD-180 Russian-made engines.
SpaceX and Blue Origin are new companies that have joined the industry that has for a long period been dominated by Boeing Co-Lockheed Martin Corp’s United Launch Alliance (ULA). The ULA was awarded $967 million from the program aimed at the development of the heavy-lift Vulcan rocket. A tune of $500 million was given to Blue Origin for the New Glenn rocket and $791.6 million awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp OmegA rocket development.
The three companies have separately issued lawsuits arguing that their companies’ financial status will be affected by SpaceX lawsuit. In response, SpaceX spokesperson said that that the complaint was aimed at ensuring a fair playing field for future interests. This was not welcomed by the SpaceX team.
The U.S. Air Force and the ULA responded later after them being asked to clarify their take on the issue. Blue Origin stood on its ground on not to comment.
SpaceX made allegations that the U.S. Air Force failed to adhere to the set rules and ended up breaking five rules as per the agreement. The Air Force, however, rejected it basing their stand on the terms and conditions of the company.
The United States government is now familiar with similar situations from SpaceX following a-2014 protest over a multi-billion contract. The contract was aimed at launching 36 rockets to United Launch Alliance. The government did, however, agree on this and made the field open for the public.
SpaceX now remains on the ropes and may continue recording losses if it fails to reconstruct itself and battle among the stable giants in the field of space rocket manufacturing industry.