Claims court punts SpaceX’s LSA bid protest to California court


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled Monday that it lacks jurisdiction to hear SpaceX’s complaint that the Air Force has put it at a disadvantage to win future launch service contracts by denying it a share of the $2.2 billion it awarded rivals Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance to prepare new rockets for the competition.

In a decision filed under seal Aug. 26 and unsealed Aug. 28, Judge Lydia Kay Grigsby granted the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss SpaceX’s bid protest but granted the Hawthorne, California-based company’s motion to transfer its complaint to U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

SpaceX filed its bid protest with the U.S. Court of Federal Claim in May seeking to stop its rivals from receiving any more of the Launch Service Agreement money the Air Force awarded Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance in 2018 to help the companies defray the costs of meeting the government’s launch requirements for the upcoming launch procurement competition known as National Security Space Launch Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement.SpaceX, the only competitor not developing a new rocket to compete for the forthcoming launch contracts, said the Air Force’s decision has unfairly tilted the playing field.

Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and ULA joined the U.S. government in urging the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to dismiss SpaceX’s protest.

The full decision can be read here.  

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