Status Report

NASA ARC Solicitation: Rapid Response Space Works – Formerly Known as Chile Works

By SpaceRef Editor
July 18, 2009
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jul 17, 2009

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: NNA09ORS001L
Posted Date: Jul 17, 2009
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jul 17, 2009
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Jul 31, 2009
Current Response Date: Jul 31, 2009
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)

Contracting Office Address

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


NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) is partnering with the Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS) located at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico to establish the Rapid Response Space Works (formerly known as “Chile Works”). NASA ARC will serve as lead executing agent with overall contracting, programmatic and systems engineering responsibilities.

PLEASE NOTE: This notice is issued by the NASA/ARC to solicit responses from interested parties. This document is for information and planning purposes and to allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and feasibility of the requirement, as well as promote competition. Detailed requirements for the acquisition have not been finalized, nor have the specifics for the acquisition strategy been determined.

Prospective offerors are invited to submit written comments or questions to: Patricia Hudson, no later than July 31, 2009. When responding reference Rapid Response Space Works (RRSW).

Comments may be forwarded to via electronic transmission or by facsimile transmission at 650-604-4646.

This preliminary information is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for the information submitted in response. Respondents will not be notified of the results.


The ORS Office’s mission is to plan and prepare for the rapid development of highly responsive space capabilities. The ORS Office will pursue innovative and affordable approaches through basic research, applied research and advanced development focused on (but not limited to) payloads, buses, ground infrastructure and launch systems.

The ORS Office is tasked with establishing the ability to provide rapid end-to-end capability efforts to meet time-critical operational needs of the Joint Force Commanders (JFCs). The ORS Office plans to standup this capability over time with a phased “crawl”, “walk”, and “run” approach. Responsiveness is defined by the length of time required to deliver ORS capabilities. Achieving the timelines may not be possible at the outset, but will remain an important goal as the ORS program matures:

– EMPLOY: On-demand use of existing deployed assets in applications that may extend or expand their original purpose. The objective of employment is to deliver these capabilities within minutes to hours. Other elements of the National Security Space (NSS) community have the primary responsibility for identifying and executing these initiatives.

– DEPLOY: Deploying new or additional capabilities that are “field-ready”, that is, already produced. The objective of deployment is to deliver capabilities within days to weeks.

– DEVELOP: The rapid development, delivery, and employment of a new capability. The objective of development is to deliver capabilities within months and less than one year. Development comprises the primary office activity focused on maturing the ORS enabling elements.

Anticipated initial mission types include:

Low Earth Orbit (LEO): – Tactical Surveillance – Electro-Optical (EO) Visible/Near Infrared Imager (EO/VNIR) – EO/Shortwave-Infrared Imager (EO/SWIR) – Hyperspectral Imager (HSI) – Deep Space Object Search and Track (DS SSA) – Synthetic aperture radar – Space Situational Awareness (SSA) – Space Protection – Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO): – Tactical communications – SATCOM – Blue Force Tracking (BFT) – Tactical Surveillance – Kinetic Event Detection Battlespace Awareness – Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO): – Space Situational Awareness – Space Protection


The Rapid Response Space Works (RRSW) and Space Vehicle procurement has two primary objectives. The first objective is to standup initial operations of the RRSW. This objective creates the ability for the ORS Office to meet its “Deploy” mission capability of rapidly deploying capabilities to the warfighter within days to weeks. The second objective is to procure, outside of the RRSW, modular multi-mission space vehicles and/or buses and payloads for the RRSW. The first planned procurement is for a modular Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite (SARSat). In close cooperation and coordination with the RRSW and ORS Office, modular spacecraft will be designed, integrated, tested, launched, and will be controlled and operated to meet the RRSW responsive concept. The architecture developed for these responsive, modular spacecrafts will be designed in such a way as to allow flexibility to meet multiple missions with minimal changes within the basic design. The spacecraft architecture will include a multi-mission, modular bus design and multi-mission, modular payload designs (mission kits will include electro-optical and RF payloads).


The ORS vision for the RRSW is to develop a long term capability which establishes operations to rapidly assemble, test, and launch small space vehicles in the “Deploy” mission timeframe and then transition that capability to an operational DoD unit to meet ORS’2015 End State Vision. The vision establishes the initial operating capability (operations, processes, and functions of the RRSW) by the 2012-2013 timeframe and a full operational capability by 2015.

The contemplated contracting options include one solicitation managed by NASA Ames. Of this solicitation there may be multiple awards. One award for a single IDIQ contract for the stand-up and initial operations of the RRSW and multiple awards (Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA) or multi-award IDIQs) for systems, i.e., space vehicles, buses and payloads. We anticipate the RRSW award would be a 5 year IDIQ contract that consists of a 3 year base with two one-year options. Additionally, we anticipate awarding multiple five-year Space Vehicle BOA or IDIQ contracts to the most qualified contractors capable of providing the modular space vehicles, buses and modular payloads to meet the ORS mission set. Both of these efforts are planned to be International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restricted and operate at least at a DoD Secret level. The individual task orders on the multiple BOA or IDIQ contracts will specify the mission requirement, whether the call is for a space vehicle, or just a payload or bus, and will establish the period of performance.

The procurement ceiling for this effort has been established as $300 million shared over the multiple contracts over the five-years to allow for flexibility in meeting rapid response requirements that include the procurement of multiple space vehicles, buses, payloads, and/or components.

Contractor Organizational Conflict of Interest (OCI) Plans will be evaluated in their ability to mitigate interactions and potential conflicts between RRSW and Space Vehicle contracts.

We anticipate simultaneously awarding the RRSW Basic contract and the first task order. The initial task order will be to establish the early rudimentary operations of the RRSW. The ORS Office is looking for innovative approaches and what industry believes would be the best approach to meet this requirement. The ORS Office envisions that all capabilities developed for the RRSW will be owned by the government, open source and available on future efforts for the RRSW. Future task orders will be added as the ORS mission dictates and could include integration of missions, procurement of established components, and execution of mission capability. It is anticipated that the RRSW will in the final vision be a government facility on Kirtland AFB, however, early options may include nearby offsite contractor run operations.

We also anticipate simultaneously awarding several BOA or IDIQ contracts to vendors capable of providing modular space vehicles, buses and payloads to meet the ORS mission set. The initial task order will be a one year service level to participant in an Innovation-Node with the RRSW contractor to develop ORS’s CONOPS and open system standards. We also expect to award either one task order to design, build and deliver the first article for a complete ORS SARSat or award two separate task orders with one being a SARSat bus and the second being a SARSat payload. The task order(s) is envisioned to have an objective launch date of December 2012. Key to this launch is the end-to-end demonstration of the ORS Tier-2 “Deploy” CONOPs where the modular bus and payload developed for this mission will have a final assembly, integration, and test in the RRSW and will meet the “Deploy” objective timelines. Additional task orders will be added as funding becomes available and may include additional or new bus, payload, and/or space vehicle procurements.

An ombudsman has been appointed — See NASA Specific Note “B”.

Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

Name: Patricia B. Hudson
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 650-604-3001
Fax: 650-604-4646

Name: Kelly G Kaplan
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 650-604-5814
Fax: 650-604-0912

SpaceRef staff editor.