Status Report

NASA ARC Solicitation: Spacecraft Bus Development

By SpaceRef Editor
November 5, 2008
Filed under ,

Synopsis – Nov 03, 2008

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: Spacecraft-Bus-AMD
Posted Date: Nov 03, 2008
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Nov 03, 2008
Original Response Date: Nov 17, 2008
Current Response Date: Nov 17, 2008
Classification Code: 18 — Space vehicles
NAICS Code: 336414 – Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing

Contracting Office Address

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


NASA Ames Research Center anticipates having a requirement for further development of a spacecraft bus for a potential future space mission. The bus carries the payload into a low Earth orbit, provides electrical power to the payload, orients and stabilizes the boresight of an onboard telescope, collects and compresses data from the onboard science instruments for later transmission to the ground, executes stored commands to direct science instrument activities, and communicates with the ground systems. The contractor shall provide all design, development, production, assembly, test and checkout efforts to provide the spacecraft bus for integration with other hardware and software elements of the vehicle.

The unique requirements for the spacecraft bus and the vendor are as follows:

1. There are strict requirements for pointing (2.5 arcseconds) and slewing (execute a 60 degree slew and settle of spacecraft motion in less than 150 seconds) utilizing low-cost components. Vendor shall demonstrate high heritage for this pointing accuracy.

2. Mission will have a 2-year orbit life at 600 km, equatorial, 2.1 degree inclination orbit.

3. Bus shall be less than 150 kg in mass and 266 Watts power.

4. Bus shall carry a minimum 100 kg payload and provide a minimum of 120 Watts of power to the payload.

5. Total price for bus shall not exceed $26 million.

6. No longer than twenty (20) month development from Authority to Proceed (ATP) to delivery.

7. Bus shall have S-band communications and VHF capability.

8. Bus shall have capability to package payload electronics of 21.1 kg inside the bus.

9. The mounting plate for the payload must remain at 5 deg C +/- 5 deg C.

10. Vendor shall follow NASA’s Small Explorer (SMEX) guidelines for a modified class D mission as described at: .

11. Vendor shall have demonstrated delivery of class D hardware and software to multiple U.S. government customers with successful flight experiences.

12. Vendor shall demonstrate the ability to perform testing in the loop by ATP plus 3 months.

13. Vendor shall demonstrate expertise in designing and engineering the integration of precision optical payloads.

14. Vendor shall demonstrate extensive experience delivering sophisticated hardware, software and documentation to the Government over a series of projects and within the last 3 years. Potential offerors must demonstrate as part of their capability statement that they understand and can comply with NASA specific procedures and processes associated with spacecraft bus design and manufacture for a SMEX mission.

15. Vendor shall comply with the requirements of NASA FAR Supplement 1852.225-70 Export Licenses. The vendor is subject to U.S. export control laws and regulations, including ITAR and EAR, and is responsible for obtaining appropriate licenses and/or approvals from the Department of State or the Department of Commerce when applicable.

16. Vendor shall have demonstrated working as an Integrated Product Team (IPT) or partner delivering hardware to the Government.

NASA ARC intends to purchase these services from ATK Space Systems Inc. of Beltsville, MD, in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. For this follow-on requirement for the continued development of the spacecraft bus, it is likely that award to any other source would result in substantial duplication of cost to NASA that is not expected to be recovered through competition; furthermore, a competitive procurement would result in unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency’s requirements.

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. See Note 26.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified points of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. Pacific time on November 17, 2008. Capabilities and qualifications must be emailed to and 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.

All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency. 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: Marianne Shelley
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 650-604-4179
Fax: 650-604-0932

Name: Rachel Khattab
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 650-604-5237
Fax: 650-604-0932

SpaceRef staff editor.