Status Report

NASA GSFC Solicitation Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition RFI

By SpaceRef Editor
June 26, 2008
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jun 26, 2008

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: Rapid3-RFI
Posted Date: Jun 26, 2008
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jun 26, 2008
Original Response Date: Jul 23, 2008
Current Response Date: Jul 23, 2008
Classification Code: 18 — Space vehicles
NAICS Code: 336414 – Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing Set-Aside Code:

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 210.I, Greenbelt, MD 20771


REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI). NASA/GSFC is soliciting information in preparation for the competition of the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition (RSA) follow-on. Previously known as Rapid II (Rapid 2), the new procurement will be referred to as Rapid III (Rapid 3).

The Rapid III acquisition may result in the award of multiple fixed-priced, commercial, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts for spacecraft bus core systems that would be used to meet the Government’s science and technology needs. Under the RSA process, contracts are awarded to vendors based on their ability to meet specific criteria (for example: the ability to carry out the Statement of Work (SOW); and a “heritage” spacecraft which has been successfully mated and interface tested with its launch vehicle). Vendors would submit core spacecraft designs that could be successfully modified as carriers for one or more flight instrument payloads. Each core spacecraft system would need to supply all necessary design, fabrication, assembly, test, flight payload instrument integration and test, final observatory (spacecraft plus payload) integration and test, shipping, launch support, on-orbit check-out and operations support. Operations support would include all required ground support equipment as well as associated flight and ground based software and software maintenance for the spacecraft offered.

Purpose of this RFI: The primary purpose of this RFI is to gather information, comments and suggestions from spacecraft manufacturers regarding: a. Potential offerors. b. Estimated number and type of potential spacecraft offerings. c. Comments on the Rapid II contract, if any. d. Suggestions for the Rapid III contract, if any. e. Responses to the specific issues as delineated in the questions below.

The information provided to the Government in response to this RFI will be used to develop the terms and conditions of the upcoming solicitation. GSFC welcomes any information submitted by interested parties in response to this request.

Background: The RSA contract serves as a fast and flexible Government-wide, firm fixed priced (FFP), IDIQ procurement tool for proven spacecraft or spacecraft components.

The RSA contract is managed by the Rapid Spacecraft Development Office (RSDO). The RSDO also facilitates mission-specific spacecraft procurements for government customers via the RSA contract. The purpose of the RSA concept is to reduce overall procurement time, as well as reduce mission implementation cost and risk by leveraging proven spacecraft designs and commercial practices.

The spacecraft under contract are placed in the RSA “catalog” for possible procurement via IDIQ delivery orders for mission customers. These mission-specific delivery orders are competed amongst the RSA contractors and awarded based on the contractor’s ability to satisfy the customer’s mission requirements. Modifications to the core spacecraft to meet the specific requirements of future missions are normal and expected.

The RSA contract includes an “On Ramp” feature, which allows for the original solicitation to be periodically re-opened in order to give new vendors the opportunity to propose proven spacecraft designs. On Ramps also give vendors already awarded an RSA contract the opportunity to propose additional proven spacecraft designs and/or update their existing catalog designs.

It is anticipated that the Rapid III contract will be similar to the previous Rapid II contract and that it will remain a commercial (FAR Part 12) contract. Those companies not familiar with Rapid II are welcome to visit the RSDO website: for background information. Specifically, review material under “Mission Statement” and “Rapid II” menu tabs.

The range of possible NASA missions is broad in scope, type and size. Therefore, the RSA contract would seek heritage spacecraft buses of various sizes, capabilities, lifetimes, orbit use and mission suitability, in order to be ready to support a variety of mission needs quickly.

Questions for Industry: Please respond to the following: 1. Do you have an interest in supplying spacecraft under the new Rapid III contract?

2. How many core spacecraft would you be interested in offering?

3. Do you have comments regarding the Rapid II contract?

4. Do you have suggestions for the future Rapid III contract?

5. The Government may require a form of Earned Value Management (EVM) reporting in the terms of the contract. What do you envision as a practical implementation of EVM for a fixed price contract? How would this impact your business practices with respect to Rapid III? Please note that this contract will be “performance based” with payments made upon the completion of pre-defined milestones.

6. The Government may issue the new Rapid III contract under terms other than commercial (FAR Part 12). What do you see as the pros, cons and impact of an RSA contract written as firm fixed price non-commercial (FAR Part 15, rather than FAR Part 12)? How would this impact your business practices with respect to Rapid III? Please note that the Government intends to maintain a high level of insight into the contractors’ implementation of all delivery orders and to invoke mission specific Mission Assurance Requirements (MAR).

This RFI is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for any information submitted in response to this RFI. The anticipated release date for the Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP) for Rapid III is October 2008. The anticipated release date for the final RFP is January 2009 with proposals due approximately 45 days after the solicitation release date. Award of contracts is contemplated for June 2009.

Responses may be submitted via mail to NASA/GSFC, ATTN: Janet Osterman, Code 401.1, Building 16W, Room N115, Greenbelt, MD 20771; or via electronic transmission to For further information please contact Janet Osterman at 301-286-7586 or; or Art Unger at 301-286-0404 or Information submitted separate and apart from commercial brochures will be treated as proprietary, if so marked. All responses shall be submitted by July 23, 2008.

No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offeror’s responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.

Point of Contact

Name: Janet Osterman
Title: RSDO Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-286-7586
Fax: 301-286-0530

SpaceRef staff editor.