In 1962, 11 companies were invited to bid for Apollo’s Lunar Module (LM). Nine responded that September, answering 22 questions from the NASA request for proposal, itself a 60-page limited technical document. Grumman Aircraft won the award two months later. “That gives you a little bit of an idea” of how things have changed, says Jeff Foote, vice president for NASA Programs at successor Northrop Grumman. “Each of us that work proposals today . . . [work on] thousands ...

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