The bids are due on 23 February, and the announcement will be made around 1 October. That’s about what happened the last few times, in late September 1989 some of us found out that ITT had lost the contract when we were on board the Polar Duke in Punta Arenas about to head for Palmer Station.
One interesting source of information in my opinion (well, it is mine 🙂 is here: http://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/ncs/ncs.html I’ve included the relevant official links…although I must say that things are getting more secretive of late. For example, the list of bidders does NOT include all of the relevant joint venture members, one of which is Raytheon, which is joint venturing with several other firms.
The NSF reading room includes an amazing trove of information, and the questions and answers are quite interesting as they reveal what the bidders are REALLY
The award of the new contract is scheduled to take place in October, 2009. The current contract with RPSC runs throught March, 2010. So that means if there is a new contrctor, and there always has been in the past, the new contractor would have a transition period of October through March and take over the show on 01 April, 2010. Presents a few interesting issues like all the McMurdo and Pole winter positions would be hired by RPSC and their employment agreements would state they are assignable to the new contractor.
It has worked in the past, even during the last turnover from ASA to RPSC when things were delayed due to a protest.