Status Report

Extension of NASA Microgravity Services Contract ( Zero Gravity Corporation )

By SpaceRef Editor
June 19, 2012
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jun 18, 2012

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNC08BA01B
Posted Date: Jun 18, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jun 18, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Jul 03, 2012
Current Response Date: Jul 03, 2012
Classification Code: 17 — Aircraft launching, landing and ground handling eqpt.
NAICS Code: 541990

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, 77058-3696, Mail Code: BJ


NASA/JSC intends to procure microgravity flight services from Zero Gravity Corporation. The Microgravity Services Contract between NASA and Zero G Corporation (ZGC) expires on December 31, 2012. NASA has a requirement to extend the performance under the current contract for one year with an option to extend the contract for an additional six months.

The Microgravity Services Contract requires the contractor to provide a heavy aircraft that is Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified under the appropriate FAA regulation associated with commercial services. The aircraft operator must also possess FAA authorization to perform parabolic microgravity maneuvers in the aircraft. Microgravity services are currently being performed by ZGC through the use of a B-727 aircraft, which has been modified for microgravity flight. Per the contract, the aircraft must also be equipped with additional systems and capabilities that can be certified under NASA’s airworthiness authority for use as a Public Aircraft, even though these additional systems are not certified for commercial use.

Upon initiation of a delivery order, the aircraft records are reviewed to ensure compliance with FAA certification requirements. Following the confirmation of compliance with FAA certification requirements, the non-FAA approved systems are reviewed to ensure compliance with NASA airworthiness requirements and the aircraft is formally transferred to NASA airworthiness authority for flight approval where it remains until the order is complete. It is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure the NASA-required systems are disabled or removed as required to conform to FAA certification requirements at the completion of the delivery order. After each flight period is complete, the aircraft is reconfigured to FAA airworthiness standards and the aircraft is returned to the FAA airworthiness authority. In summary, the contractor is required to adhere to both FAA and NASA airworthiness requirements.

The contractor is also required to furnish the flight crew, cabin crew, and additional flight personnel who are certified to perform microgravity flight services in accordance with NASA requirements. All aircrew must meet both the FAA and the NASA training standards.

The contractor must also provide payload and experiment loading, unloading and installation.

The flight profiles required include parabolic maneuvers that duplicate zero-Gravity (0-G), Lunar-Gravity (approximately 1/6th G), Martian gravity (1/3rd G) and multiple other microgravity levels, including hyper-G (greater than 1-G) levels. Durations required for each gravity level vary with the gravity level, with zero-G as the shortest (approximately 17 seconds) and increasing to 60 seconds for hyper-G levels.

Normal delivery orders are flight weeks that require five days presence of the aircraft, with one day devoted to experiment loading and checkout followed by four individual flight days with flights lasting from 1.5 to 2.5 hours each, during which from 30 to 60 parabolas are performed. Other flight periods of shorter or longer duration may be required, with fewer or greater numbers of flights.

The contractor is required to participate in and support Test Readiness Reviews and post flight debriefing sessions.

Flight and ground safety are of paramount importance to NASA and deviations from safe operations will not be permitted or accepted. The contractor is required to provide liability insurance coverage during periods of operation as a Public Aircraft.

The primary place of performance will be at the Johnson Space Centers Aircraft Operations Division at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. local time on July 3, 2012. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government.

Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.

NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The Center Ombudsman for this acquisition can be found at .

Point of Contact

Name: Roger M. Roberts
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 281-483-2916
Fax: 281-483-7890

Name: John E. Trahan
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 281-483-0543
Fax: 281-483-2138

SpaceRef staff editor.