Business dispute takes flight for NASA

Maryland residents may not be aware that companies in the private sector are clamoring for the chance to work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  As a result, NASA recently awarded two companies with contracts worth billions of dollars.  One company that bid on the contracts initiated a business dispute requesting that the awards be reevaluated.

Sierra Nevada Corp., Boeing and Space X all bid on contracts to provide transportation to NASA's astronauts traveling back and forth from the International Space Station.  One contract worth an estimated $4.2 billion contract was awarded to Boeing, and the other contract for approximately $2.6 billion went to Space X.  Sierra Nevada Corp. claims that its bid and proposal was not given thorough consideration by NASA. 

NASA says that it gave all of the proposals the same consideration before making its decision.  Outsourcing this portion of NASA's mission will give the agency the opportunity to spend more time on other projects -- including sending Americans to Mars.  How NASA deals with this first objection to its award of a contract could set the tone for future dealings with the numerous private sector companies who would love to be part of the exploration of our solar system and beyond.

It is not yet known whether Sierra Nevada Corp.'s business dispute will result in  any further action.  Companies in Maryland may be familiar with having to submit bids and proposals in order to win both public and private contracts.  If a company believes that it was not given the proper consideration during that process, it has the right to file a complaint.

Source:, "NASA contract dispute highlights growing private space industry", , Sept. 28, 2014

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