In May, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center issued an announcement for proposals regarding Launch Complex 39A, a Space Shuttle launch pad no longer needed by NASA (which plans to use neighboring pad 39B for future Space Launch System launches). The agency hoped to attract a commercial user who could take over use and maintenance of the launch site, which, the announcement stated, would fulfill an agency mandate to support commercial use of space while also preserving the pad, since the agency has no budget to maintain the facility.
Two companies responded to the announcement: SpaceX, which reportedly is seeking exclusive use of the pad for its launch vehicles; and Blue Origin, which is proposing making the facility a multi-user pad both for its future launch vehicles and for other customers. While NASA has yet to make a decision on who would take over pad 39A, Blue Origin has preemptively filed a protest with the GAO. The rationale of the protest hasn’t been disclosed by the company, and the GAO listing for the protest provides only the filing date and the decision due date, December 12.