The battle over who will lease NASA Pad 39A took a turn last week which was both surprising and with the injection of yet another Alabama congressman, disturbing.
After SpaceNews originally reported that SpaceX was apparently the only bidder for the historic pad, it was subsequently revealed that Blue Origin is interested as well. If anyone thought Blue Origin’s brief foray into the light meant that the company was prepared to unveil its orbital launch system, they were mistaken. While the secretive rocket company founded by Jeff Bezos would ultimately like to use the facility, the substance of their bid, as indicated in some of the unattributed NASA response to questions, is to manage it as a multi-use pad which could be subleased to other, concurrent users which could include SpaceX, if that company still maintains an interest in 39A after being rebuffed in their own bid.
To add a bit of gravitas to their proposal, Blue Origin apparently included a letter from United Launch Alliance expressing a potential interest in using the facility, as well as another letter from an unnamed provider.