"NASA has released a draft request for proposals, or RFP, to seek industry support for the design of its Altair lunar lander vehicle, part of NASA's Constellation Program. Altair will deliver four astronauts to the moon's surface late in the next decade, fulfilling U.S. space exploration goals. A pre-solicitation conference is scheduled for Dec. 18 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The conference is designed for information sharing about the Altair conceptual design contract with potential offerors."
Editor's note: Typical NASA ESMD procurement silliness: they post a procurement notice and issue a press release toward the end of the working day (4:30 pm EST) on 16 December and announce a pre-proposal conference for 18 December - but they then tell you that you have to RSVP for that meeting on 16 December. What a nice way to limit participation.
Responses are due no later than 12 January 2009 which means little or no time off for the holidays. It is curious that ESMD is rushing to do all of this over the holidays - for an activity the Transition Team may well put on hold a week or so after the due date as it evaluates where it wants the agency to go with regard to the previous Administration's various initiatives. Lets see if all of this work over the Holidays simply has to be redone.
Of course, this is all part of a plan by Mike Griffin's soon-to-be departing ESMD staff to force the Obama Administration's hand by shoving as much as they can into the procurement process so as to make it all that much harder to alter what they have done after noon on 20 January 2009.