Sierra Nevada Corporation files formal complaint against NASA’s Decision

Sierra Nevada Corporation files formal complaint against NASA’s Decision

On Friday, Sierra Nevada Corporation announced that it has filed a formal complaint with the General Accounting Office against NASA's decision.

NASA has selected Boeing and SpaceX for its Commercial Crew program to make spacecraft that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station. Sierra Nevada Corporation has filed complaint against this decision.

Sierra Nevada was one of the three finalists for the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) along with Boeing and SpaceX. Sierra Nevada is making an airplane-like spacecraft that is capable of landing on a runway.

Reason behind the company's complaint is the cost difference between its offer and that of Boeing's offer. The company also noted that its offer was the second-lowest priced of the three.

"With the current awards, the U.S. government would spend up to $900 million more at the publicly announced contracted level for a space program equivalent to the program that SNC proposed", company said in a statement.

The company also noticed that there was a very small difference between the three offers. In its statement, Sierra Nevada said that NASA's own Source Selection Statement and debrief shows that were some serious questions and irregularities in the source selection process. The specific criteria on how the winning spacecraft were selected have not yet been revealed by the space agency.

In 2012, NASA awarded the three private space companies US$1.1 billion to plan and create vehicles that will take astronauts into space by 2017.

Since NASA retired its Space Shuttle fleet in 2011, it has been dependent on Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station.

In 2012, NASA provided Sierra Nevada US$212.5 million to further improve the company's Dream Chaser space plane, a reusable space-faring vehicle made to carry a maximum of seven astronauts to low Earth orbit.

The first of the three space firms to manage a successful cargo run to the ISS was SpaceX, which was given YS$440 million, while Boeing received US$460 million. Due to some technical rankings, Sierra Nevada lagged behind the other two bidders, according to sources.

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