Nov 08 2015

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Boeing out of the running for CRS2 contract

NASA drops Boeing from race for $3.5 billion cargo contract. I’m kinda surprised, though to be honest, I haven’t had a chance to dive into this like I did with the CCtCAP announcement.

Highlights from the article:

  • Boeing’s cargo version of their CST-100 Starliner is no longer in the running, based on a NASA letter they received late last week.
  • SpaceX (Dragon), Orbital ATK (Cygnus), and SNC (Dream Chaser) are still in the running.
  • The award originally was supposed to be announced 3 November, but now the award won’t be announced until 30 January 2016.

This is definitely a blow to Boeing’s Starliner program. Don’t know what to say about the award announcement being pushed back, other than this seems to be the norm with government contracting these days. I’m trying to think of any major contract award that was actually announced on schedule, and none come to mind. That doesn’t necessarily mean there haven’t been timely awards, but they would definitely be the exception, not the rule.

Related article:
NASA Postpones Second Round of Space Station Supply Contract Awards, Drops Boeing. Hmmmm….it says in this article that the announcement was postponed to ” re-open discussions with offers in the competitive range for NASA’s CRS-2 contract.” I’ve had some really bad experiences with this particular process, so I might be completely jaded and wrong, but it’s been my experience that the government only re-opens discussions when the team that they want to win a contract doesn’t have a winning bid. This gives the government a chance to “nudge” their favorite in the right direction so that it can qualify for the award.

I believe the chance for protest on CRS2 is now about 100% certain. Which sucks.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/08/boeing-out-of-the-running-for-crs2-contract/


  1. Arth

    Who would you suggest is the government’s (NASA’s) favorite? Maybe they are trying to get Dream Chaser in to make it a third option and they knew that if Boeing was chosen, there wouldn’t be funds for a third option. The incumbents SpaceX and OATK are going to be hard to beat. OATK can still extend to the super size variant of their Cygnus and take 10,000 lbs of supplies to the ISS per flight. And SpaceX haven’t made their proposal public knowledge.

    1. dcmckay3

      Hard to say at this point. I’m glad they postponed the award — it gives me time to do a deep-dive analysis like I did for the CCtCAP award. Look for a post probably the first week of January and I’ll give my prediction. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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