Status Report

NASA GSFC Solicitation: Spacecraft Bus

By SpaceRef Editor
August 5, 2013
Filed under ,

Synopsis – Jul 31, 2013

General Information

Solicitation Number: 2020-2022   

Posted Date: Jul 31, 2013   

FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jul 31, 2013   

Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No   

Original Response Date: Aug 20, 2013   

Current Response Date: Aug 20, 2013   

Classification Code: 99 — Miscellaneous   

NAICS Code: 481212

Contracting Office Address NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Procurement Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812


This notice is issued by the NASA/MSFC to post a Request For Information (RFI) via the internet, and 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.

Development of Science Mission Spacecraft Bus

In anticipation of an upcoming NASA Announcement of Opportunity (AO) in 2014, NASA MSFC is seeking information regarding development of a science mission Spacecraft bus. In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), the information requested is for planning purposes only and is not intended to bind the Government; 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. This RFI is issued for information and planning purposes. It does not constitute a Request for Proposal. Please note, at this juncture, no solicitation exists; therefore, please 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 respondent’s responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.

The subject Spacecraft bus is required to enable a Principal Investigator (PI) led Heliophysics mission. The goal of this mission is to observe the sun in the EUV portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and transmit images to designated ground stations for scientific evaluation. The anticipated launch date for this project is 2020 – 2022. The mission duration is anticipated 3 years with a potential of up to 10 years. Concept studies are currently under development by the NASA team.

It is not NASA’s intent to publicly disclose proprietary information obtained through this RFI. 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.

Description of Anticipated Requirements:

This RFI seeks interested parties and openly solicits potential partners by requesting specific information that will be used to determine a teaming relationship for developing a NASA proposal in response to the upcoming AO. NASA envisions a teaming arrangement where the partner will 1) serve as the PI’s Prime Contractor; 2) lead the proposal development and management activities for the mission team (with MSFC and other partners providing direct input to the proposal); 3) develop and deliver a complete Spacecraft design, hardware, software, and ground support equipment; 4) integrate science instruments with the Spacecraft bus; and 5) provide mission operations systems and support. Note that NASA cannot reimburse the industrial partner for the costs for managing the proposal development.

The purpose of this RFI is to identify qualified sources that are interested in pursuing this type of arrangement. Potential partners will be identified from the responses received from this request. NASA intends to select a single industrial partner for participation in the proposal based on these inputs. Responses from all interested parties, including non-U.S. organizations, are solicited. Recognizing that any collaboration between NASA and a non-U.S. organization must be consistent with NASA’s no-exchange-of-funds policy where each nation is responsible for its own activities, any non-U.S. response should identify the source of funding and discuss the status of funding commitments.

Information obtained through this RFI will be used by NASA to evaluate available Spacecraft capabilities and interfaces for potential use in the subject missions. The Spacecraft is expected to provide capability to meet the following requirements at a minimum:
1. Launch in 2020 – 2022 2. Launch on vehicles defined in the standard NLS-II catalog, such as Athena II or Taurus 3210 launch vehicles to a Sun-synchronous orbit 3. Sustain a mission duration of a minimum of 3 years 4. Carry a rigid payload mass of approximately 225 – 300 kg. This science instrument payload may consist of a context telescope, a spectrometer, up to two high resolution telescopes, and 1-2 electronic boxes 5. Provide co-alignment of payload instruments within 1 arcminute 6. Provide fixed-position solar arrays for power generation, with secondary batteries for energy storage during eclipse periods and propulsive maneuvers 7. Provide the science payload’s uplink/downlink communications: – Uplink Spacecraft engineering data from ground stations (S-band) twice per day – Downlink science data to ground stations (X-band) (30-50 GB/day) 8. Provide electric power to science instrument (210 W Peak) 9. Provide guidance, navigation, and control services and ancillary data 10. Accommodate thermal control of the payload 11. Provide data storage sufficient for Spacecraft operations (approximately 2 GB) 12. Provide fine pointing while interfacing with instrument-provided reference guide telescope 13. Provide a Pitch Accuracy of 20 arcsec, Knowledge of 15 arcsec, and stability of 1 arcsec per second 14. Provide a Yaw Accuracy of 20 arcsec, Knowledge of 15 arcsec, and stability of 1 arcsec per second 15. Provide a Roll Accuracy of 120 arcsec, Knowledge of 50 arcsec, and stability of 50 arcsec per second 16. Provide Pointing Control 1 arcsec Peak to Peak for periods of 1-2 seconds at a time 17. Provide Pointing Jitter: < 0.05 arcsec/sec from S/C bandwidth to 45Hz 18. Enable an uninterrupted observation time of at least 3 hours 19. If required by an orbital debris analysis, provide a controlled re-entry capability at mission end of life

Prospective offerors are invited to submit written comments or questions to:PS51/Janice M. Stewart,no later than August 20, 2013. Comments may be forwarded to via electronic transmission.

This presolicitation synopsis 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.

NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The Center Ombudsman for this acquisition can be found at .

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/MSFC Business Opportunities home page is It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the Internet cite for the release of the solicitation and amendments (if any). Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the solicitation and amendments, if any.
Point of Contact

    Name: Janice M. Stewart    Title: Contract Specialist    Phone: 256-961-7726    Fax: 256-961-7439    Email:

    Name: Jennifer B. McCaghren    Title: Contracting Officer    Phone: 256-544-5189    Fax: 256-544-4400    Email:    

SpaceRef staff editor.