Editor's note: NASA issued the following procurement notice on April 16th which was then modified yesterday. What should we make of this in that the number of minimum seats has been dropped from 18 to 3? Does this have anything to do with PlanetSpace losing their protest the day before and COTS-D moving forward?
Procurement of Crew Transportation and Rescue Services from Roscosmos, Federal Business Opportunities
NASA/JSC intends to contract with Roscosmos for these services on a sole source basis for a minimum of 18 Soyuz seats up to a maximum of 24 seats beginning in the Spring of 2012.The maximum number of 24 seats may be procured using multiple modifications in incrementsof 3 seats, to complete the entire effort.
"The purpose of this modification is to revise the minimum number of Soyuz seats which maybe procured from a minimum of 18 seats to a minimum of 3 seats. NASA is still accepting capability statements from interested organizations documenting their ability to provide Crew Transportation and Rescue Services requirements identified in the synopsis"