Space News: NASA Delays Contract Awards for Asteroid Redirect Mission Amid Budget Uncertainty

NASA has pushed back a contract award and other grants for the Asteroid Redirect Mission due to budget uncertainty, Space News reported Thursday.

Jeff Foust writes ARM Program Director Michele Gates told a NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group meeting the agency will award a contract for the spacecraft bus of ARM’s robotic segment in May instead of March.

NASA also postponed the selection of members for ARM’s investigation team as well as hosted payloads that will fly aboard the mission from April to June, Foust reported.

Gates noted NASA had to delay the awards since it will operate under a continuing resolution until April 28.

A draft report from the House Appropriations Committee released May 2015 states the fiscal year 2017 commerce, justice and science spending bill does not include funds for ARM.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued a request for proposals in Sept. 2016 for potential industry providers that can design, develop and build the ARM robotic spacecraft which will capture an asteroid boulder.

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