The Altair project is funded through the end of the fiscal year and the team has repeatedly been instructed to continue their work as if the effort were ongoing past that time with the exception of contract awards to be approved by management. Funding is and continues to be in place today for the team members across NASA centers including JSC, Marshall and JPL.
While the amount of money available to support the effort has always been limited, funding for the current workforce is in place through the end of the fiscal year at current levels.
On March 3rd, a detailed multi-day Altair vehicle performance review took place in Houston, TX, with participants from all parties involved in the Altair program. On the last day of the collocation, March 5, the collocated team from the various NASA centers was informed by the deputy manager of Altair,
- By the end of March 2010, H.Q. will give individual project assignments to the various NASA centers
Upon receiving these assignments, the NASA centers will work on how they plan to accomplish their respective assignments. They will have to report back to NASA HQ before end of May 2010.
The Altair team has worked to be ready to put out an AO to industry to select the the subcontractor to award the Altair contract.
The Altair Requirements Analysis Cycle 2 has been completed and tasks for Requirements Analysis Cycle 3 are being worked on.
This update stands in contrast to the testimony of NASA Administrator Bolden who, on March 23rd, under questioning of Rep. Schiff, stated,
BOLDEN (Approx. 1:53:08)
One of the procurements I stopped was a study for the Altair, for the lander. The Constellation Program had not been allowed to go that far because of the shortage of funds. We would have found ourselves having to go from scratch to doing the studies of design and development of a lander.