NASA can proceed with its solicitation to dispense with one of the space shuttle's mothballed launch pads, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has determined.
The GAO denied a protest by Blue Origin, a startup commercial rocket firm owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, that NASA's solicitation was unfair.
NEWS: For Rent: Shuttle Launch Pad
Blue Origin is competing against Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, for Launch Pad 39A, one of two launch pads at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida idled by the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011.
NASA had hoped to chose a company to take over pad operations and maintenance beginning Oct. 1, but Blue Origin filed a protest over the solicitation with the GAO in September, delaying the agency's decision.
PHOTOS: Inside Atlantis' Final Space Station Mission
"Blue Origin maintains that the agency intends to misapply the terms of the (solicitation) in evaluating proposals and selecting a prospective lessee for the facility. We deny the protest," the GAO ruled on Thursday.