Florida Today reports that NASA has issued a procurement notice in advance of its planned February 7 solicitation for the latest round of commercial crew funding.
In a procurement notice — read it here — NASA said it planned to award grants in the form of Space Act Agreements to "multiple" companies to best meet its goals within available funding ...
Companies must submit proposals within 45 days after the announcement. The awards are expected this July or August, with the performance periods extending through May 2014.
The next round of the program, managed at Kennedy Space Center, is called the Commercial Crew integrated Capability, or CCiCap.
February 7, ironically, was the day that SpaceX was scheduled to launch the COTS 2/3 flight to the International Space Station. That flight has been delayed until late March or April.
UPDATE January 24, 2012 — Space News with more on the third round for commercial crew.
Continuing a drumbeat it has sounded since last summer, NASA cautioned that the next round of awards will depend heavily on funding availability. “NASA intends to select a portfolio of multiple [commercial crew concepts] that best meet the [program’s] goals within the available funding,” the procurement notice says.