Interesting Column at The Space Review on Protests in Space Contracting

by: Matthew Potter
January 19, 2009

Category: Business Line, commercial aviation, Contract Awards, Events, Military Aviation, NASA, Protest, space | RSS 2.0

Taylor Dinerman has written an interesting column on the recent protest of the commercial cargo contracts given to SpaceX and Orbital by PlanetSpace. He is comparing it to the almost routine practice in the Defense industry of protesting large contracts you don’t win. Actually some small ones are as well. In Defense there has been a growth over the last ten years in protests as the number of companies and contracts have shrunk. NASA has avoided this mainly, in my opinion, of the few “commercial” contracts they award and that there has been enough work to go around in the past.

The commercial space cargo contract was a first for NASA in many ways. It is not surprising that there was a protest. Mr. Dinerman is concerned that these protests will lead to delays in critical programs and also drive up costs. They have certainly delayed defense programs, and the cost can go up directly and indirectly. I just think these events will become more common as contracts continue to decline in number.

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