NASA recently handpicked Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to lead the way on a space taxi initiative that ships astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
However, agency Administrator Charles Bolden said earlier this week that work on the project will be delayed after NASA received a protest from a losing contender, privately owned Sierra Nevada Corp.
Sierra Nevada has officially stymied the project after claiming its proposal would cost $900 million less than Boeing’s.
Moreover, the company said in a statement, “NASA’s own Source Selection Statement and debrief indicate that there are serious questions and inconsistencies in the source selection process. SNC, therefore, feels that there is no alternative but to institute a legal challenge.”
Bolden said that because Sierra Nevada filed its complaint with the Government Accountability Office, NASA’s Commercial Crew program will temporarily be forced to be on hold.
GAO is expected to issue its ruling by Jan. 5, 2015 but NASA only has 30 days to respond to Sierra Nevada’s challenge.