The internal watchdog for the U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD) has opened a probe into whether the Pentagon’s contracts with United Launch Alliance (ULA) were properly awarded after a former ULA executive implied the government rigged a recent procurement in favor of the company.
The investigation inside the Pentagon is the latest twist in one of the space industry’s leading storylines in recent years — the contentious rivalry between ULA, the sole launch services provider for the U.S. government for nearly a decade, and newcomer SpaceX led by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk.
DoD’s inspector general is looking into assertions made by Brett Tobey, ULA’s former vice president of engineering, during a March 15 seminar at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Tobey discussed ULA’s decision last year not to bid in a head-to-head competition with SpaceX for the launch of a Global Positioning System navigation satellite. At the time, ULA said it did not submit a proposal for the launch due to restrictions on the use of Russian engines on the Atlas 5 rocket and because it lacked accounting systems required in the structure of the Air Force’s request for bids.
Keep reading this article at: http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/03/24/pentagon-opens-investigation-into-contracts-with-ula/