For all the hoopla and commentary over the Christmas gifts given to SpaceX and Orbital, we nevertheless have to wonder how PlanetSpace ended up with a piece of coal in its stocking. Bringing together a team of "been there, done that" Who-villian contractors, PlanetSpace certainly fielded a competent proposal. Too competent and too cheap, perhaps? How else could Orbital, with opposite polarity on those all important proposal criteria have eked out a win? We thought the days of putting lipstick on pigs were behind us now.
The Emperor's heavy hand will be evident to those that go looking for it. It certainly won't help his negotiating position with the suits when the time comes.