Author Topic: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019  (Read 85946 times)

Online S.Paulissen

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #20 on: 05/22/2019 01:54 pm »
It's ironic that of the 4 different rockets under question (Falcon 9/FHeavy, Vulcan, New Glenn, OmegA), only the Falcons are flight proven and the others are 2 years from flight and could easily have more delays. The idea that the USAF wouldn't throw SpaceX a bone for vertical integration but would spend tons of money paying for the development of these unproven rockets DOES seem to give SpaceX standing, here, IMHO...

IANAL, however I'm confident in saying that your use of the word 'standing' is not the same as the one that lawyers use. 

The legal term of standing involves whether or not you are a party to the matter at hand enough to warrant being a plaintiff.  I.E. whether or not you are allowed to sue wheat farmers for price fixing as a hotdog seller because the price of hay increases the cost of your meat.  The court might say you do not have the standing to sue because you don't buy any wheat and thus aren't a party to the matter at hand.  Different answers will come from different courts about different things obviously, but 'standing' is the kind of delineation between whether or not you are a party to the matter at hand, rather than a delineation about whether your case has merit or not.
"An expert is a person who has found out by his own painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field." -Niels Bohr
Poster previously known as Exclavion going by his real name now.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #21 on: 05/22/2019 02:58 pm »
I think you’re right. Noted.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline edkyle99

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #22 on: 05/22/2019 03:04 pm »
Just a side note, but I kind of agree with Blue Origin about the questionability of deciding now who to award all (or a huge chunk) of the USAF flights starting in 2021.

And I think SpaceX is right to protest the LSA, which is basically giving Blue Origin a vertical integration capability and a huge leg up, even though they haven't launched didley squat to orbit and are years behind in qualifying the BE-4 for launch. It's also questionable to award LSA to two companies which are both effectively relying on the same first engine, an engine which has not yet been flight qualified and could further be delayed.

I think the USAF should at least consider awarding to 3 companies this time.
Everyone knew the rules.  Elon himself said that his company's proposal missed the mark.  As for Blue, they've had years and years to get ready.  If they are not ready, if their engine is not ready, then neither should win as I see things.

EELV was a mess because the Pentagon went with two providers at the last minute instead of the originally-planned single provider.  Two is already too many, IMO.  Three - combined with a delay - would be yet another high-cost fiasco.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/22/2019 03:09 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #23 on: 05/22/2019 04:23 pm »

I think the USAF should at least consider awarding to 3 companies this time.

But then if ULA does not get the 60% contract part they have no leg to stand on, lacking ability to draw significant commercial launches. How do you propose the contract should be split? 60,20,20? Maybe 50,25,25.

Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #24 on: 05/22/2019 04:26 pm »
I'm missing something...
The EELV dev money was last year multiple recipients (not SpaceX). 
The phase 2 launch, two vendors are do any time now.  Did I miss them?

Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #25 on: 05/22/2019 04:29 pm »
The final two won't be selected until next year.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #26 on: 05/22/2019 04:29 pm »
Elon himself said that his company's proposal missed the mark. 

This is quoted so frequently. But what does it mean? What did Elon want to express there?

I doubt that he means SpaceX has bungled its proposal. IMO they proposed exactly what they wanted to propose, knowing full well that they did not propose exactly what the Airforce had in mind. They hoped for some flexibility in the Airforce evaluation and were probably not surprised that this flexibility was not there.

Edit: They did not bid as I expected.
« Last Edit: 05/22/2019 06:31 pm by guckyfan »

Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #27 on: 05/22/2019 04:32 pm »
Elon himself said that his company's proposal missed the mark. 

This is quoted so frequently. But what does it mean? What did Elon want to express there?

I doubt that he means SpaceX has bungled its proposal. IMO they proposed exactly what they wanted to propose, knowing full well that they did not propose exactly what the Airforce had in mind. They hoped for some flexibility in the Airforce evaluation and were probably not surprised that this flexibility was not there.

If they proposed SH/SS it was at such a low TRL/stage of development that it wouldn't have any chance.  It seems kinda like when LockMart tried to get CRS-2 funding for their cis-lunar tug.  That didn't get very far.

Online Rondaz

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #28 on: 05/22/2019 04:44 pm »
Blue Origin and ULA subsidiary weigh in on multibillion-dollar SpaceX rocket lawsuit..

BY ALAN BOYLE on May 22, 2019 at 8:01 am

https://www.geekwire.com/2019/blue-origin-ula-subsidiary-weigh-multibillion-dollar-spacex-rocket-lawsuit/

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #29 on: 05/22/2019 06:01 pm »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1131256730820718594

Quote
BREAKING: Federal court unseals redacted SpaceX bid complaint, which challenges the Air Force awarding $2.3 billion to Blue Origin, ULA and Northrop Grumman.

Read the full complaint:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/22/spacex-lawsuit-challenges-air-force-rocket-awards-to-competitors-including-jeff-bezos-blue-origin.html

Quote
The full SpaceX complaint alleges that the Air Force “wrongly awarded” the funds “to a portfolio of three unproven rockets based on unstated metrics.”

Edit to add: complaint attached
« Last Edit: 05/22/2019 06:04 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #30 on: 05/22/2019 06:14 pm »
From pages 4 and 5:

Quote
5.  By contrast, SpaceX bid its existing, operational Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy
vehicles for all missions set to occur before late 2025 and a newer, even more capable and
cost effective system, the Big Falcon Rocket (now Starship), for a tiny fraction of NSS missions to
launch no earlier than late 2025. The Agency's Source Selection Authority ("SSA") nonetheless
determined that SpaceX's one developmental launch vehicle rendered the entire SpaceX portfolio
the "highest risk" and chose the portfolio that best served the needs of ULA, the long-standing
incumbent. (Award Decision at 9, Ex. I.) This appraisal of risk is counter to the stated evaluation
criteria and, by any objective measure, unreasonable. As a consequence, the Agency made
significant awards to ULA and the two offerors that are currently developing major components
for ULA's new rocket-in effect, the Agency made awards to ULA and two subcontractors for its
new, proposed launch vehicle system.

6.  By selecting for its LSA portfolio three unbuilt, unflown systems-all of which
share major common systems relative to the ULA vehicle-the Agency has tilted the playing field
steeply in favor of unproven rockets that clearly will not be certified for any NSS launches on the
timeframes dictated in the LSA Solicitation, risking assured access to space and defeating the very
objectives of the LSA SoliciItnataidodni.tion, the LSA awardees have not demonstrated
commercial viability, which ostensibly was a requirement for award. In fact, two of the awardees
(ULA and Northrop Grumman) have recently and repeatedly acknowledged that their LSA
vehicles are "purpose-built" for NSS launches and are unlikely to be commercially viable.4 This
in turn risks perpetuating the same critical problems that have plagued the EELV program for
decades: uncontrolled costs and a lack of competition based on commercial viability.

Edit to add: a lot more details in the 79 page submission. Not pulling any punches ...
« Last Edit: 05/22/2019 06:18 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online meberbs

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #31 on: 05/22/2019 06:31 pm »
Everyone knew the rules.  Elon himself said that his company's proposal missed the mark.
Just reading the first page of the court filing shows that the reason SpaceX believes they missed the mark is because the target was hidden behind a black curtain, and being moved around.

EELV was a mess because the Pentagon went with two providers at the last minute instead of the originally-planned single provider.  Two is already too many, IMO.  Three - combined with a delay - would be yet another high-cost fiasco.
EELV was a mess because of industrial espionage that led essentially to forced formation of a joint venture. Two is now recognized as a requirement for redundancy. Two+ providers gets expensive when the USG is supporting all of the overhead for the rockets on its own. When there is good commercial support for the rockets (SpaceX and Blue at least both have customers signed up) this is not a problem.

Edit: I just read the quotes FutureSpaceTourist provided, and notably it points out the same problem with EELV that I just did.
« Last Edit: 05/22/2019 06:41 pm by meberbs »

Online Rondaz

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #32 on: 05/22/2019 06:35 pm »
SpaceX's lawsuit against USAF regarding EELV LSA award unsealed, full pdf provided by CNBC.com..

https://www.scribd.com/document/411128817/Space-x-Complaint

Online Rondaz

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #33 on: 05/22/2019 06:37 pm »
SpaceX lawsuit challenges Air Force rocket awards to competitors including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin..

PUBLISHED 44 MIN AGOUPDATED MOMENTS AGO

Michael Sheetz
@THESHEETZTWEETZ

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/22/spacex-lawsuit-challenges-air-force-rocket-awards-to-competitors-including-jeff-bezos-blue-origin.html

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #34 on: 05/22/2019 06:45 pm »
From pages 4 and 5:

Quote
5.  By contrast, SpaceX bid its existing, operational Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy
vehicles for all missions set to occur before late 2025 and a newer, even more capable and
cost effective system, the Big Falcon Rocket (now Starship), for a tiny fraction of NSS missions to
launch no earlier than late 2025. The Agency's Source Selection Authority ("SSA") nonetheless
determined that SpaceX's one developmental launch vehicle rendered the entire SpaceX portfolio
the "highest risk" and chose the portfolio that best served the needs of ULA, the long-standing
incumbent. (Award Decision at 9, Ex. I.) This appraisal of risk is counter to the stated evaluation
criteria and, by any objective measure, unreasonable. As a consequence, the Agency made
significant awards to ULA and the two offerors that are currently developing major components
for ULA's new rocket-in effect, the Agency made awards to ULA and two subcontractors for its
new, proposed launch vehicle system.

6.  By selecting for its LSA portfolio three unbuilt, unflown systems-all of which
share major common systems relative to the ULA vehicle-the Agency has tilted the playing field
steeply in favor of unproven rockets that clearly will not be certified for any NSS launches on the
timeframes dictated in the LSA Solicitation, risking assured access to space and defeating the very
objectives of the LSA SoliciItnataidodni.tion, the LSA awardees have not demonstrated
commercial viability, which ostensibly was a requirement for award. In fact, two of the awardees
(ULA and Northrop Grumman) have recently and repeatedly acknowledged that their LSA
vehicles are "purpose-built" for NSS launches and are unlikely to be commercially viable.4 This
in turn risks perpetuating the same critical problems that have plagued the EELV program for
decades: uncontrolled costs and a lack of competition based on commercial viability.

Edit to add: a lot more details in the 79 page submission. Not pulling any punches ...

Some of the complaints described in the submission are the very same complaints that some of the more knowledgeable folks here made when the LSA awards where made public.

Offline raketa

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #35 on: 05/22/2019 06:46 pm »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1131256730820718594

Quote
BREAKING: Federal court unseals redacted SpaceX bid complaint, which challenges the Air Force awarding $2.3 billion to Blue Origin, ULA and Northrop Grumman.

Read the full complaint:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/22/spacex-lawsuit-challenges-air-force-rocket-awards-to-competitors-including-jeff-bezos-blue-origin.html

Quote
The full SpaceX complaint alleges that the Air Force “wrongly awarded” the funds “to a portfolio of three unproven rockets based on unstated metrics.”

Edit to add: complaint attached
Spacex is punish having system F9 and FH9 ready.And having in development new system that could change future launch services more then reusable F9 did it.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #36 on: 05/22/2019 06:51 pm »
So according to the filing, SpaceX did bid F9 and FH for the entire LSA, except for Class C launches starting in Sept. 2025 for which they bid Starship. They did bid VI at both Canaveral and Vandy.
« Last Edit: 05/22/2019 06:51 pm by envy887 »

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #37 on: 05/22/2019 06:54 pm »
Spacex is punish having system F9 and FH9 ready.And having in development new system that could change future launch services more then reusable F9 did it.

Reading the filing, it sounds like they were punished for not being able (or not wanting) to hit Class C requirements with Falcon Heavy. Why they weren't able or willing to do that and needed Starship for those launches isn't clear.

Offline freddo411

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #38 on: 05/22/2019 06:55 pm »
Just a side note, but I kind of agree with Blue Origin about the questionability of deciding now who to award all (or a huge chunk) of the USAF flights starting in 2021.

And I think SpaceX is right to protest the LSA, which is basically giving Blue Origin a vertical integration capability and a huge leg up, even though they haven't launched didley squat to orbit and are years behind in qualifying the BE-4 for launch. It's also questionable to award LSA to two companies which are both effectively relying on the same first engine, an engine which has not yet been flight qualified and could further be delayed.

I think the USAF should at least consider awarding to 3 companies this time.
Everyone knew the rules.  Elon himself said that his company's proposal missed the mark.  As for Blue, they've had years and years to get ready.  If they are not ready, if their engine is not ready, then neither should win as I see things.

EELV was a mess because the Pentagon went with two providers at the last minute instead of the originally-planned single provider.  Two is already too many, IMO.  Three - combined with a delay - would be yet another high-cost fiasco.

 - Ed Kyle

Ed, I vociferous disagree with your unsupported assertions that "two is too many" and it is somehow a "high-cost fiasco".   Competition drives prices lower, generally speaking.   Especially if the contract awarder rewards lower cost performance.    This is not possible with a single source provider.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX files new federal govt lawsuit 17 May 2019
« Reply #39 on: 05/22/2019 06:55 pm »
So according to the filing, SpaceX did bid F9 and FH for the entire LSA, except for Class C launches starting in Sept. 2025 for which they bid Starship. They did bid VI at both Canaveral and Vandy.

They likely bid the now defunct carbon composite BFR.

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