Status Report

NASA GSFC solicitation: RFI Quickice Spacecraft

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2008
Filed under , , ,

Synopsis – Nov 11, 2008

General Information

Solicitation Number: RFI-QuickICE-Spacecraft
Posted Date: Nov 11, 2008
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Nov 11, 2008
Original Response Date: Nov 24, 2008
Current Response Date: Nov 24, 2008
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 336414 – Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing

Contracting Office Address

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


Request for Information


Description: QuickICE Spacecraft

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is evaluating the feasibility of a mission, tentatively called QuickICE (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation). The purpose of this RFI is to investigate the possibility of procuring a Gap Filler spacecraft (QuickICE) which has the performance and capabilities of the existing ICESat 1 (ICE, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite). The QuickICE spacecraft will provide data continuity between the existing ICESat 1 and the planned ICESat 2 mission. This RFI seeks price, delivery, and performance information for a spacecraft development that would be highly similar in performance to the original ICESat mission. This includes spacecraft bus development and test, instrument integration and test of a GFE instrument, full observatory functional, performance and environmental testing, shipment to the launch site and support of launch operations, and in orbit performance verification. The effort shall meet the requirements for the QuickICE mission indicated below. All characteristics described herein must be met by the deliverable end-item. If this mission is approved, it is expected that the spacecraft will be purchased on a firm-fixed price contract arrangement with Government buyoff after in orbit performance checkout of the observatory.

It is not NASA’s intent to publicly disclose vendor proprietary information obtained during this solicitation. To the full extent that it is protected pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and other laws and regulations, information identified by a respondent as “Proprietary or Confidential” will be kept confidential.

It is emphasized that this RFI is for planning and information purposes only and is NOT to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contractual agreement, nor will the Government pay for information solicited.

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.

This RFI is intended for companies with experience and facilities for fabricating spacecraft buses. Only companies with proven experience and facilities providing the following services are considered compliant with this request: Program and quality management, Systems engineering, Bus fabrication and test, Interface and ICD development, Payload integration and test support, Observatory environmental testing, Coordination of shipping of observatory to the launch site, Launch vehicle integration support, On-orbit checkout, and Sustaining engineering.

The QuickICE spacecraft bus will carry one Laser altimeter instrument, similar to the GLAS (Geoscience Laser Altimeter System) lidar flown on the original ICESat mission.

The contractor shall provide all design, development, production, assembly, test and checkout efforts to provide the spacecraft bus for integration with the other hardware and software elements of the vehicle. The unique requirements for the QuickICE spacecraft and the vendor are as follows:

1) Operational life will be 3 years minimum on orbit

2) Selective redundancy or unique fault management techniques should be considered to achieve a mission life at least 3 years.

3) Orbit shall be Earth orbiting, 94 degree inclination, near circular

4) Altitude shall be 590 Km

5) Spacecraft shall be capable of carrying a Payload Mass of at least 330 Kg

6) Payload type shall be one instrument, similar in performance to the GLAS (Geoscience Laser Altimeter System) instrument on ICESat.

7) Payload Physical size to be accommodated: Instrument is approximately 100 x 140 x 110 cm and telescope is 100 cm in diameter, height of approx 175 cm

8) Payload field of view to be accommodated: Nadir pointing, 375 microradians.

9) Instrument duty cycle shall be 100%

10) The interface to the instrument shall be1553 for command and data

11) Star Tracker and GPS: The GLAS instrument has a Star Tracker, an IRU, and a Blackjack GPS receiver that are available for the spacecraft to interface to, if desired. At its discretion, the spacecraft vendor could provide their own Star Tracker.

12) Orbit Averaged Payload Power is 350W

13) Spacecraft bus voltage shall be 28v (26 to 34v range at the instrument interface).

14) The instrument is thermally isolated from the spacecraft. 15) Solid State Recorder (redundant) shall provide 56Gb of payload data storage, minimum, to meet instrument and ground system requirements.

16) Data communication shall be X Band at 40Mbps in CCSDS format

17) Command & Telemetry communication shall be S Band

18) Uplink/downlink shall be compatible with existing NASA Ground Stations

19) Uplink/downlink shall be compatible with ICESat Mission Operations Center at LASP.

20) ACS capability: payload shall be capable of operation in any orientation; provides rapid slewing, tracking of targets, minimizing vibrations and induced jitter.

21) Pointing requirements (spacecraft + instrument): control (3 sigma) 30 arcsec roll, 60 arcsec pitch, 1 degree yaw.

22) Spacecraft shall carry on-board hydrazine propulsion sufficient for a 5 year mission for orbit make up.

23) The spacecraft must meet the NASA specification for orbital debris

24) The launch vehicle for the QuickICE observatory is TBD at this time, but it is expected that it will be in the class of a Delta II. The launch vehicle should be considered Government furnished. The spacecraft vendor should specify details of which launch vehicles their proposed bus is qualified to ride on.

25) LRD no later than January 2012

26) Compliance with NASA Mission Assurance Requirements is desired but best commercial practices will be considered.

27) Anticipated contract type for spacecraft bus is Firm Fixed Price

28) Vendor shall comply with the requirements of the NASA FAR and FAR Supplement. The vendor is subject to US export control laws and regulations, including ITAR, and is responsible for obtaining the appropriate licenses and/or approvals from the Department of State or Department of Commerce when applicable.

Please provide ROM price estimate, including required funding profile, and schedule for: spacecraft bus and full mission spacecraft implementation consistent with above characteristics and capabilities (including program and quality management, systems engineering, bus fabrication and test, Interface and ICD development, payload integration and test support, observatory environmental testing, coordination of shipping of observatory to the launch site, launch vehicle integration support, on-orbit checkout, sustaining engineering, and deliverable documentation) and any other required activity not specifically called out here.

In addition, please provide a description of key technical, schedule and price drivers and options for mitigating price or traded for price reductions.

In addition, please provide a brief description of your company capabilities and past experience performing spacecraft developments, integration and test, launch support, and mission operations similar to this mission.

The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this solicitation or to otherwise pay for the information solicited except as an allowable cost under other contracts as provided in section 31.205-18, Bid and proposal cost, of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Although “proposal” and “offeror” are used in this Request for Information, your response will be treated as information only. It shall not be used as a proposal.

This solicitation is issued for the purpose of evaluating the feasibility of a mission that would serve as a gap filler between the existing ICESat 1 and future ICESat 2 mission.

Technical questions should be directed to Andre’ Dress Code 424; Tel. 301-286-5321; email

Procurement related questions should be directed to Glenn Stewart, Code 210.7, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771; Telephone 301-286-5716; email

Comments and questions regarding this RFI are encouraged and solicited. Please provide the information requested herein no later than 4:00 PM Eastern time on November 24, 2008 to Glenn Stewart, Code 210.7, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771; Telephone 301-286-5716; Fax 301-286-7977 email If you respond my mail or fax please provide an electronic copy in either Microsoft Word or ADOBE PDF format.

The solicitation and any documents related to this procurement will be available over the Internet. These documents will reside on a World Wide Web (WWW) server, which may be accessed using a WWW browser application. The Internet site, or URL, for the NASA/GSFC Business Opportunities home page is It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the Internet site for the release of the solicitation and amendments (if any). Potential offeror’s will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the solicitation and amendments, if any.

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

Point of Contact

Name: Glenn Stewart
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-286-4345
Fax: 301-286-1724

SpaceRef staff editor.