Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wait 'Til Next Year

In an October 29 blog article, I wrote that a Johnson Space Center procurement web site for the next round of commercial cargo contracts had posted that “NASA remains on schedule to support the November 5th award date.”

JSC updated the site today with this statement:

The anticipated CRS2 award is now no later than January 30, 2016 to allow additional time for the Government to assess proposals.

One eligible vendor said today they're out of the competition.

Space News reports that Boeing acknowledged their CST-100 cargo Starliner has been dropped.

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.

The article quotes Sierra Nevada and Orbital ATK representatives stating today they've been notified by NASA that they're still eligible, while SpaceX continues its policy of not commenting on procurement bids.

The procurement site features an Excel workbook listing interested parties who had responded to NASA's Request for Information. The file was last modified in April 2014. It lists 21 different companies that requested information. Orbital Sciences and ATK later merged into one company.

The Wall Street Journal reported on October 1 that the Lockheed Martin Jupiter system had been dropped from the competition. Neither NASA nor LockMart have confirmed the report.

UPDATE November 5, 2015 4:15 PM ESTFlorida Today and Bloomberg Business also report on today's events.

The Florida Today article quotes a SNC representative describing her company as one of the “offerors in the competitive range” while the Bloomberg article quotes the same person as saying SNC “was selected to re-open discussions.”

UPDATE November 5, 2015 8:45 PM ESTThis Washington Post reports quotes a Lockheed Martin representative implying their proposal is still viable.

Lockheed Martin also submitted a bid, but several news outlets have reported that NASA has also dropped it from the competition. NASA and Lockheed have not confirmed that, however, and in a statement Thursday, a Lockheed spokesperson said that, “we feel that our proposal offers value today through affordable, high-capacity Space Station resupply.”

UPDATE November 6, 2015The Denver Business Journal reports that local contractors Sierra Nevada and Lockheed Martin “will have to wait to learn if they get a piece of $14 billion in NASA contracts for delivering supplies to the orbiting International Space Station.”

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. (LMSS), based in Jefferson County, and Louisville-based Sierra Nevada Corp. Space Systems both bid for some of the work ...

It's believed LMSS was dropped from consideration last month, though the company isn't confirming that.

Sierra Nevada Corp. Space Systems said Thursday it's been told by NASA its Dream Chaser spacecraft still in the running to carry cargo.

“SNC received notification this morning that the government has decided to re-open discussions with (bidders) in the competitive range,” the company's statement said. “SNC was selected to re-open discussions regarding its CRS2 proposal.”

1 comment:

  1. "we feel that our proposal offers value today through affordable, high-capacity Space Station resupply.”

    When I read that statement, I see typical PR speak. It does not say that NASA thinks their proposal has merit only that Lock Mart does, nor did she says that they were still being considered. I can only confer that Lock Mart proposal has been dropped.