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[i]The protest could impact who ultimately uses the pad, but at a minimum will delay any lease award until the GAO reaches a decision, expected by mid-December.
NASA had hoped to transfer the historic former Apollo and shuttle pad by Oct. 1, the start of a new fiscal year that does not anticipate funding to maintain the facility, estimated at $1.2 million in 2013.
Blue Origin, started by Amazon.com CEO and billionaire Jeff Bezos, would not comment directly on the protest but reiterated its preference for a shared-use arrangement.
"Several major American space launch companies have come forward with interest in operating commercially from (launch complex) 39A and support this multi-user approach," Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson said in a statement. "This is an important issue of national policy and we look forward to working with NASA to expand the use of LC 39A and its return to flight."
NASA must respond to the GAO within 30 days of the protest filed Tuesday.[/i]
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