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Press Statement on Blue Origin Bid Protest

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2013)— The following is a statement from Ralph O. White, Managing Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law at GAO, regarding today’s decision resolving a protest filed by Blue Origin, LLC, B-408823, December 12, 2013.

On Thursday December 12, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest filed by Blue Origin, LLC, of Kent, Washington, challenging NASA’s stated interpretation of an announcement for proposals (AFP) for the lease of Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Blue Origin maintained in its protest that the AFP provided for a preference in favor of a multi-user (as opposed to an exclusive use) approach to utilizing the launch pad. NASA took the position that neither approach was favored by the AFP. GAO agreed with NASA, and in its decision concluded that there was no preference for either approach, and that the AFP merely requires different information depending upon which approach is being offered.

The GAO decision takes no position on the relative merits of the proposals that have been submitted to NASA. NASA currently is in the process of evaluating proposals submitted by Blue Origin and Space exploration Technologies Corporation, and the agency has, as yet, reached no conclusions.

The decision has been issued and is publically available here: B-4088223

For more information, please contact Ralph O. White at 202-512-8278.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.

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