Status Report

NASA Centennial Challenges Program

By SpaceRef Editor
November 13, 2014
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Nov 05, 2014


Airship RFI – 202020 RFI Response Form wordpdf – Posted on Nov 05, 2014 


General Information


    Solicitation Number: NNH15STMD002L

    Posted Date: Nov 05, 2014

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Nov 05, 2014

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: Dec 01, 2014

    Current Response Date: Dec 01, 2014

    Classification Code: A — Research and Development

    NAICS Code: 541712



Contracting Office Address


NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771




NASA is seeking your response to the Airship RFI provided as a link at the bottom or the top of this page. A response form is also included to assist you in your submission.


NASA is considering a stratospheric airship challenge to incentivize the demonstration of a long duration scientific platform for both Earth and space sciences. In 2013, a Keck Institute study (Airships: A New Horizon for Science) demonstrated significant interest in airships as a science platform from the academic community and possible industrial partners. The final study report can be found at .


There are few opportunities for space missions in astronomy and Earth science. Airships (powered, maneuverable, lighter-than-air vehicles that can navigate a designated course) could offer significant gains in observational persistence over local and regional areas, sky and ground coverage, data downlink capability, payload flexibility, and over existing suborbital options at competitive prices. We seek to spur a demonstration of the capability for sustained airship flights as astronomy and Earth Science platforms in a way that is complementary with broad industry interests.


This 20-20-20 Airship Challenge is currently contemplated as a two-tiered challenge that could provide opportunities to evaluate a wide range of innovative methods to launch an airship into the stratosphere, maintain altitude, and station-keep for a defined period of time. This challenge would seek to engage the aerospace industry, educational institutions, and amateurs to provide solutions. The Challenge is considering a total prize purse ranging from $1 to $1.5 million dollars, which would be split into multiple prize awards for successful demonstrations of a stratospheric airship that could accomplish the following tasks:


* Reach a minimum altitude of 20 km.


* Maintain the altitude for 20 hours (200 hours for Tier 2 competition).


* Remain within a 5 km diameter station area (and navigate between two designated points for Tier 2).


* Successfully return the 20 kg payload (200 kg for Tier 2 competition) and payload data.


* Show Airship scalability for longer duration flights with larger payloads through a scalability review.


The competition could take place over the next 3 to 4 years. Comments must be submitted in electronic form no later than 5:00pm Eastern Time on December 1, 2014 to Mr. Sam Ortega at e-mail address: . Please use 202020 Challenge on the Subject line.


Point of Contact


    Name: Sam Ortega

    Title: Program Manager Centennial Challenges Program

    Phone: 256-544-9294

    Fax: 000-000-0000


SpaceRef staff editor.