SpaceX McGregor Test Facility Pictures

A competing bid for commercial use of the launch complex was submitted by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, who bid for a shared non-exclusive use of the complex such that the launchpad can interface with multiple vehicles, and costs of pad operational expenses could be shared over the long term. One potential shared user in the Blue Origin notional plan was with United Launch Alliance. In September 2013—prior to completion of the bid period, and prior to any public announcement by NASA of the results of the process—Blue Origin filed a protest with the U. S. General Accounting Office (GAO) over what it said was “a plan by NASA to award an exclusive commercial lease to SpaceX for use of mothballed space shuttle launch LC-39A. ” NASA planned to complete the bid award and have the pad transferred by October 1, 2013, but the protest delayed a decision until after the GAO resolved the protest. Following the eruption of the controversy, on September 21, SpaceX said that they were willing to support a multi-user arrangement for LC-39A. In December 2013, the GAO denied the protest and sided with NASA, which argued that the solicitation contains no preference on the use of the facility as multi-use or single-use. “The [solicitation] document merely asks bidders to explain their reasons for selecting one approach instead of the other and how they would manage the facility. ”