NASA: Lunar Surface Cargo Transportation Services Request for Information (RFI)

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Original notice

Notice Type: Sources Sought
Posted Date: May 1, 2017
Response Date: Jun 02, 2017 4:00 pm Eastern
Archiving Policy: Manual Archive
Archive Date: -
Original Set Aside: N/A
Set Aside: N/A
Classification Code: A -- Research & Development
NAICS Code: 541 -- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services/541712 -- Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)

Solicitation Number: NNH17ZDA006L
Notice Type: Sources Sought
Synopsis: Added: May 01, 2017 1:29 pm

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD), Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and the Space Technology Mission Directorate are soliciting information under this Request for Information (RFI) to determine whether or not there are interested and available domestic vendor sources capable of meeting the identified requirements. This document is for information and planning purposes only and to allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and feasibility of the requirement, as well as promote competition. NASA is seeking capability statements from all interested parties, including Small Business (SB), Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), 8(a), Woman-Owned (WOSB), Veteran Owned (VOSB), Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SD-VOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) businesses, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)/Minority Institutions (MI).

The requirement is to provide a commercial launch and landing service on existing or forthcoming FAA licensed commercial missions to the lunar surface for NASA primary payloads, NASA secondary payloads, or NASA hosted payloads, with the potential to also procure data from any commercial lunar surface missions and/or return payloads or samples to the Earth.

The responses will assist NASA in planning for potential payloads and launch opportunities meeting Lunar exploration, science, and technology demonstration goals such as those outlined in NASA's Planetary Science program in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine 2011 Decadal Survey, Vision and Voyages for Planetary Sciences in the Decade 2013-2022 (V&V); the NASA Strategic Knowledge Gaps (see; and the NASA Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan (


NASA has identified a variety of exploration, science, and technology demonstration objectives that could be addressed by sending instruments, experiments, or other payloads to the lunar surface. To address these objectives as cost-effectively as possible, NASA may procure payloads and related commercial payload delivery services to the Moon. Such delivery services need to be consistent with the National Space Transportation Policy (NSTP). The NSTP requires U.S. Government primary and secondary payloads to use U.S.-manufactured launch vehicles. "Hosted payloads" that meet the hosted payload definition within the National Space Transportation Policy can fly as part of a mission using a foreign launch vehicle. As a first step, NASA is interested in assessing the availability of payload transit and delivery services from Earth to the Lunar surface as early as Fiscal Year 2018 and through the next decade. This approach offers NASA the potential to simultaneously address critical strategic objectives related to exploration, science, and technology demonstration using commercially provided domestic space services and hardware.

Services will include:

(1) Physical and analytical integration of the NASA payloads or instruments onto the existing or forthcoming commercial mission;
(2) Transportation to the Moon for the NASA payloads or instruments, to include landing and surface access to agreed-upon locations on the Lunar surface; and
(3) Provision of "utilities" such as power, communications, thermal control, etc., during launch integration, launch and cruise phase, and perhaps for a limited period of time after landing.

Services could also include:

(1) The purchase of science or engineering data provided by contractor payloads; and
(2) The return of payload and/or samples to the Earth.


Since this is a sources sought announcement, no evaluation letters and/or results will be issued to the respondents. Capability Statements shall be submitted electronically, via e-mail, to the primary Point of Contact (POC) listed below. The Capability Statement, exclusive of the one page summary, shall not exceed 10 pages (including attachments) and shall contain a minimum font size of 12. Additionally, the Capability Statement shall list, at a minimum, 2 customer contacts covering the past 5 years (highlight relevant work performed, any associated contract numbers, contract type, dollar value of each contract, number of employees and customer point of contact address, phone number and email address).

Your Capability Statement should include details of your planned mission, including payload accommodation locations on your transportation vehicle, estimated total mass and volume along with the mass and volume that may be available to NASA, possibility of payload and/or sample return, and your schedule for the Lunar mission. Details concerning possible payload data purchases should also be included. Provide information to aid in understanding the probability of success for your planned Lunar mission. This should include information concerning reliability and mission assurance. Identify the primary risks and challenges to meeting technical performance goals and describe current risk mitigation plans.

The Capability Statement should also describe the business plan and market strategy for providing lunar cargo transportation services, and summarize the currently understood Government and private sources of demand. Identify any existing customer agreements and sources of revenue, including business partnerships and equity and debt financing.

Responses should indicate whether there is intent to abide by NASA's Recommendations to Space-Faring Entities: How to Protect and Preserve the Historic and Scientific Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts ( There are no restrictions on returning lunar samples to Earth; for planetary protection, the only requirements involve documentation. NASA is also interested in proposed forms of consideration in the event of failure or loss of mission. Include your ideas for how this could be accomplished.

To facilitate a prompt review, a one-page summary shall be included with your capability statement(s), which shall identify your company's specific capabilities that are relevant (and reflect the magnitude) to these requirements. The one page summary will not count against the page limit. The one-page summary shall include:

(1) Company's name, address, primary POC, and telephone number;
(2) Size of business;
(3) Company's average annual revenues for the past 3 years and total number of employees;
(4) Ownership;
(5) Number of years in business;
(6) Company's Government size standard/type classification (Large, Small, Small Disadvantaged, 8(a), Woman-Owned, Veteran-Owned, Service Disabled Veteran, HUB Zone business);
(7) Affiliate information: including the company's parent, joint venture partners, prime contractor (if potential sub) or subcontractors (if potential prime), point of contact position, address and phone number;
(8) Applicable NAICS Code(s); and
(9) DUNS number and cage code.

It is not sufficient to provide only general brochures or generic information. NASA HQ encourages qualified Joint Venture business arrangements to submit Capability Statements as well. Responses shall include the company's specific area of interest in this acquisition as being either a potential Prime contractor or Subcontractor.

Please advise if the requirement is considered to be a commercial or commercial-type product. A commercial item is defined in FAR 2.101. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the Capability Statement review. Respondents deemed fully qualified will be considered in any resultant solicitation for any upcoming requirement.


Responses to this RFI must be delivered in PDF format to, no later than June 2, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. EST. The information obtained will be used by NASA for planning and acquisition strategy development. NASA will use the information obtained as a result of this RFI on a non-attribution basis. Providing data/information that is limited or restricted for use by NASA for that purpose would be of very little value and such restricted/limited data/information is not solicited. Responders shall not submit proprietary information, classified, export controlled information (including ITAR restricted information), or confidential information in response to this RFI. Submittals identified as containing such material shall be destroyed and not further considered.

It is emphasized that this RFI is NOT a Request for Proposal, nor Invitation for Bid. NASA does not plan to respond to the individual responses. This RFI is being used to obtain information for planning purposes only, and the Government does not intend to award a contract at this time. As stipulated in FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Pursuant to FAR 52.215-3, entitled Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes, this information is being made available for market research, information, and planning purposes and to allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and feasibility of the requirement, as well as promote competition. This RFI is subject to review or cancellation at any time and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contract. The Government will not pay for the information submitted in response to this request, and respondents will not be notified of the results.

Following this initial feedback, as part of its market research, NASA may conduct one-on-one meetings with potential offerors. These meetings will allow for exchange of information and will provide an opportunity for potential offerors to provide feedback on the Governments preliminary requirements and acquisition approach.

Please do not request for a copy of the solicitation, as no solicitation exists at this time. If a firm requirement is developed and a solicitation is issued, the solicitation will be made available on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website ( and the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS) ( ). It is the responsibility of offerors and interested parties to monitor the Internet sites for the release of the solicitation and amendments, if any, and they will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the documents. NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The Center Ombudsman for this acquisition can be found at

Questions concerning this Request for Information may be emailed to the following address (subject line to read "Lunar Surface RFI").

Contracting Office Address:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
United States

Primary Point of Contact.:
Dr. Jeffrey Newmark,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Research, Science Mission Directorate
Phone: 202-358-0684

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