credit NASA / caption: the design support contract awards are still imminent
NASA's Ares V cargo launch vehicle design support contracts were supposed to be awarded in the first week of April. NASA has its fiscal year 2009 budget, admittedly seven months late, so one wonders what the hold up is. The agency told Hyperbola:
Yes, we anticipate contract announcements for Ares V this [April] for trade studies. The Ares V Phase I RFP was originally released in January with proposals due in February. In Phase, we are engaging industry to assess designs, identify risks and opportunities, and develop trade studies and analyses. Contracts will be awarded this month. We'll issue a news release once decisions are made.
Those trades will include a study of man rating Ares V