NASA has once again delayed the award of contracts to transport cargo to and from the International Space Station, this time not only pushing the announcement of contracts until as late as the end of January 2016 but also dropping one of the companies from the competition.
In a brief statement posted to the procurement website for the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract Nov. 5, the previous date offered by NASA for a contract announcement, the agency said it was postponing the award to no later than Jan. 30 “to allow additional time for the Government to assess proposals.”
“CRS-2 is a complex procurement,” NASA spokesman Dan Huot said Nov. 5. The delay until late January, he said, will “allow time to complete a thorough proposal evaluation and selection.”
Huot added there was little more that the agency could say about the competition at this time, citing “a procurement communications blackout.”
However, one of the companies that submitted a proposal says it’s been notified it is no longer part of the competition. Boeing spokeswoman Kelly Kaplan said Nov. 5 that NASA informed the company shortly before announcing the award delay that it was no longer considering the company for a contract. NASA did not give a reason for the delay, she said. Boeing has requested a debrief from NASA, which may not take place until after the contracts are finally awarded.
We're back to the previous three: Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX. I think that last is pretty much guaranteed.