Deep Space Systems, one of the private companies that bid for a NASA contract to build a private lunar lander to carry NASA instruments to the moon, and did not get the contract, has filed a protest against that decision.
I found out about this through my industry sources. I have no further information about the protest itself.
The timeline however is intriguing. The contracts were awarded to three different companies on May 31, 2019. Deep Space Systems’ protest was filed on June 24, 2019.
On July 30, 2019 one of contract winners, Orbit Beyond, backed out of the deal. Whether the protest or Orbit Beyond’s exit are related is at present unknown, though I wonder if they might be connected.
Either way, the question now arises: Who will replace Orbit Beyond? I also wonder if this protest gives Deep Space Systems an advantage for getting that replacement contract. This last thought is pure speculation and very unlikely. There are several other companies that are more well known and might be better qualified, and it would be inappropriate for NASA to allow its decision-making process to be pressured because of this protest.
Regardless, stay tuned for more information. This story is going to get more interesting.