Draft COTS RFP Released
By Michael Mealling
NASA's Commercial Crew/Cargo Project Office has released the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Demonstrations (247k Word Document) announcement and is holding an industry biefing on it this Thursday and Friday (your's truly will be there). The list of interested companies is interesting due to its mixture of traditional and “New Space” companies.
Past attempts at “alternate access to station” started just as optimistic but were deep sixed due to lobbying, politics, and budgets. As with all NASA contracts, this one also includes the ability for NASA to cancel the contract at any moment. The difference here is that NASA will be bound to pay up to the next milestone if it does cancel. The key will be to ensure that clauses like that stay in throughout this process. Anyone interested in the progress of commercial space should pay very close attention to this process. Let's keep NASA's feet to the fire on this one.
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