Rare early staple-bound NASA manual entitled "Space Shuttle Program, Request for Proposal, No. 9-BC421-67-2-40P," stamp-dated March 17, 1972, 122 pages (with several appendices), 8.5 x 11, with opening letter, addressed to North American Rockwell, reading in part: "You are invited to submit a proposal for the Space Shuttle Program contract, as described in the enclosed RFP [Request for Proposal]. Your proposal should cover all work described in this RFP…This RFP has been compiled in book form, tabbed and sectionalized as follows: I-Introduction, II-Acquisition Forces, III-Instructions for Preparation of the Proposal, IV-Program Description and Requirements, V-Program Description and Requirements, Appendices, VI-Contract Summary, VII-General Information, VIII-Contractor Certifications." Includes a "Shuttle Program Typ. Flow" chart dated March 20, 1972, with sections highlighted in different colors related to "Requirements," "Design," "Fabrication," "Testing," and "Procurement." In very good to fine condition, with front cover detached but present. In the spring of 1972, engineering juggernauts Lockheed Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas, Grumman, and North American Rockwell all submitted proposals to build the space shuttle. The NASA selection team eliminated Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas from the running due to design issues and exorbitant costs, while Grumman's proposal, which offered a terrific design, was also deemed too expensive. The design by North American featured the lowest cost and most realistic cost projections, with their design offering relative ease for ongoing maintenance. On July 26, 1972, NASA announced that North American would design the first Space Shuttle.