Status Report

NASA ARC Solicitation: ESMD Robotic Lunar Exploration Program Secondary Payload RFI

By SpaceRef Editor
January 10, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA ARC Solicitation: ESMD Robotic Lunar Exploration Program Secondary Payload RFI

Synopsis – Jan 10, 2006

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: ESMD-RLEP-RFI–2006
Posted Date: Jan 10, 2006
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 10, 2006
Original Response Date: Jan 25, 2006
Current Response Date: Jan 25, 2006
Classification Code: A — Research and Development

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Ames Research Center, JA:M/S 241-1, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000



The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) has an opportunity to include a small secondary payload with the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) scheduled for October 2008. NASA will solicit proposals internally from the NASA field centers for existing or reasonably matured concepts that offer a cost-effective contribution to the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP). If an internal proposal demonstrates a concept beneficial to RLEP, then NASA may select it for further development and eventual launch. The NASA internal selection is scheduled to occur in February 2006.

While NASA will serve as the prime entity for these internally-developed proposals, NASA is encouraging teaming between the field centers and industry. This Request for Information is intended to allow interested industry respondents to supply secondary payload concepts consistent with the instructions provided below. All concepts, as received by the RLEP Program Office, will be made available to the NASA field centers prior to their proposal due date. Each center, upon reviewing the concepts, will determine if it is competitive value to develop a teaming arrangement with individual respondents.

NASA is not planning any acquisition as a result of this RFI. No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. The successful NASA field center is responsible for determining and conducting any procurement action(s) relating to its individual concept proposal.

The instructions to be given to the NASA field centers to guide their proposal preparation include the following:

1. The concept must advance the Vision for Space Exploration. a. Missions that advance lunar science by providing data or knowledge. b. Missions that characterize the lunar environment. c. Missions that support identification of sites for future human missions as well as the potential utility of those sites. d. Missions that test or demonstrate technology that could enhance future exploration. e. Missions that demonstrate operational concepts in support of exploration activities. f. Missions that develop or emplace infrastructure in support of exploration activities. g. Missions that advance commercial opportunities—either in terms of incentivizing new commercial approaches to doing NASA’s business or by developing long-term commercial opportunities at the Moon. h. Missions that collect engineering data to support development activities of the Constellation elements.

2. The concept must be affordable. NASA is seeking mission candidates with total costs in the $50 million range. Lower cost missions will be more attractive than higher cost ones. NASA will consider missions with total costs above $50M, but such missions must demonstrate extraordinarily increased benefit for the additional expense. In no case will NASA consider missions with a total cost exceeding $80 million.

3. The mission cost estimate must be credible. Cost estimates must be validated through methods to include (but are not limited to) reconciliation with accepted cost estimation models, analogy to similar systems, or extensive heritage and evidence that the heritage is extensible to the instant mission.

4. The schedule estimate must be credible. NASA will expect analyses analogous to those useful for validating cost in order to validate schedule estimates.

5. The total secondary payload mass at launch must not exceed 1000 kg, including any required payload adapter.

6. Given schedule and cost constraints, NASA encourages concepts that have history and heritage. While this is not a limitation, concepts that leverage existing hardware, have high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) components or that are well studied and documented will be more attractive than concepts that do not.

Industry respondents’ payload concepts are due, via email, to, no later than 5pm EST, Wednesday, January 25, 2006. Submissions may be in any format, but should be no more than 10 pages in length, including figures. Submissions must also be less than 7 Mbytes in file size. Please do not submit any proprietary information you do not wish all NASA field centers to view. Questions about this Request for Information should be directed to: Dr. Butler Hine, RLEP Deputy Program Manager, at

Point of Contact

Name: Butler P. Hine
Title: RLEP Deputy Program Manager
Phone: (650) 604-4449
Fax: (650) 604-4511

SpaceRef staff editor.