NASA puts off selection for major satellite pact

Maryland Watch

August 05, 1998

The nation's biggest aerospace companies could be stuck in orbit through October because NASA has delayed deciding the winner of a landmark contract for taking over management of its unmanned satellites.

Competing teams led by Bethesda's Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. of Seattle originally expected to learn the winner by July 1. NASA slipped the date for several weeks, and finally decided that it needs up to 90 more days to pick a winner.

A spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said officials have asked for so much detailed additional information from the contractors that they need more time to to weigh their responses.

The Consolidated Space Operations Contract is worth about $6 billion over the next 10 years and could lead to more business. Military and spy agencies are considering privatizing a significantly bigger network of space satellites and are watching NASA's first step.

AlliedSignal Technical Services Corp. of Columbia is on Lockheed Martin's team and hopes to expand the satellite control work it does at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Pub Date: 8/05/98

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