Status Report

NASA MSFC Mission Directorate Early Career Inititative Partnering Opportunities

By SpaceRef Editor
June 27, 2014
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jun 26, 2014

General Information

    Solicitation Number: NNM14ZDA002L

    Posted Date: Jun 26, 2014

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jun 26, 2014

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: Jul 14, 2014

    Current Response Date: Jul 14, 2014

    Classification Code: A — Research and Development

    NAICS Code: 541712


Contracting Office Address

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


NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is hereby soliciting potential partners to propose to an Internal NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Early Career Initiative (ECI) Call for Proposals.

ECI is a new initiative focused on providing exciting opportunities for NASA technologists early in their professional careers. ECI will provide a mechanism for developing NASA early career technologists and advancing the next generation of innovators. The Initiative seeks to:

– Encourage creativity and innovation by engaging early career NASA employees in hands-on, space technology development opportunities needed for future missions.

– Enable highly collaborative, joint-partnering work environments between the best and brightest NASA early career innovators and the best and brightest innovators in industry, academia or other government organizations.

MSFC is seeking potential external partners to participate in developing proposals for and collaborating on potential ECI projects. Prospective partners must respond to this notice in order to be considered for participation on a joint proposal to the ECI Call for Proposals. Proposed teams will include a core team consisting of no more than 8 members total with at least half of the team members being NASA early career professionals. The project is hardware focused with the project lasting no more than 2 years and not costing more than $1M in procurements per year (Funding provided to external partnering organizations is not to exceed $500,000 per year for a period of up to two years). The project’s focus is milestone-based, with a continuation review at the development site and a final presentation at NASA Headquarters. The project should use development methods that emphasize working products, prototypes, collaboration, iterative, hands-on testing, and responsiveness to change rather than formal processes and documentation. MSFC is pursuing technology development topic areas that align with the Center’s four core product areas as described in the following paragraphs.

1. The Propulsion Systems Technology core product area includes new space propulsion-related technologies that have application to human exploration and space operations, support the development and application of advanced propulsion technology, and have application to the national propulsion industrial base. This notice seeks providers of technologies related to this core product area that include, but are not limited to rapid and affordable advanced manufacturing technologies applicable to propulsion components, in-space propulsion technologies, cryogenic fluid management technologies, and technologies providing revolutionary advancement beyond traditional chemical propulsion systems and capabilities.

2. The Space Transportation Technology core product area includes technologies relevant to affordable and innovative architectures used to deliver payloads and platforms from earth to low Earth orbit (LEO) and beyond. This notice seeks providers of technologies related to advancements applicable to launch vehicles for small and large payloads.

3. The Space Systems Technology core product area seeks the development of systems that support the human and robotic exploration of space. This notice seeks providers of technologies related to this core product area that include, but are not limited to human life support systems, technologies applicable to ISS utilization, and technologies applicable to in-situ manufacturing, fabrication and repair.

4. The Scientific Research core product area seeks to sustain and advance scientific research in support of the Agency’s strategic goal of expanding the scientific understanding of the Earth, the solar system, and the universe in which we live. This notice seeks providers of technologies related to this core product area that include, but are not limited to x-ray astrophysics, heliophysics, space environments and forecasting, and the sensors, detectors, and systems required to make related observations. RESPONSE INSTRUCTIONS: Responses to this partnering request shall be limited to four pages plus up to four single page resumes for participating individuals.

The response format is as follows:

1. Single spaced, typewritten using 12-point font on white 21.6 x 28 cm (8.5 x 11 inch) paper, in single or double columns with at least 1-inch margins left, right, top, and bottom margins. Chart, tables, and graphs may utilize 8 point font size and spacing. 2. References to electronic media or websites will not be considered in the evaluation. 3. Proposals shall be submitted in PDF format.

Responses to this notice must address:

1. Capabilities the responder has to offer and how those capabilities relate to any or all of MSFC’s four core product areas. 2. Identify particularly critical or challenging areas that have been overcome in previous work. 3. Indicate the resources (skills and time) that would be allocated to the potential proposal development. 4. Relevant past performance to include list of contracts, grants and other work completed which are relevant or similar to the work being proposed.

MSFC will evaluate the responses based on the following criteria:

1. Innovativeness and relevance of the identified technology development concepts as applied to the designated MSFC core product areas. 2. Capabilities and qualifications of the proposer for technology development in the designated MSFC core product areas. 3. Unique, distinctive or propriety methods, codes, or facilities for support in the designated MSFC core product areas. 4. Information regarding past performance, e.g. list of contracts, grants and other work completed which are relevant or similar to the designated MSFC core product areas. 5. Agility of the external partner to form an appropriate team of no more than 4 persons with competencies relevant to the designated MSFC core product areas and the ability to quickly work with MSFC early career professionals to develop a compliant proposal to the ECI Call for Proposals.

Participation in this partnering synopsis is open to all categories of U.S. and non-U.S. organizations, including educational institutions, industry, not-for-profit institutions, and other U.S. Government Agencies. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Other Minority Universities (OMUs), small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), veteran-owned small businesses, service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, HUBzone small businesses, and women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) are encouraged to apply. Participation by non-U.S. organizations is welcome but subject to NASA’s policy of no exchange of funds, in which each government supports its own national participants and associated costs.

All responses shall be submitted to MSFC electronically via email by 2:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time, July 14, 2014, to Melinda E. Swenson ( and Andrew S. Keys ( Please respond with “MSFC ECI Partnering Opportunity” in the subject line when submitting.

This partnering opportunity sources sought does not guarantee selection for award of any contracts or other agreements, nor is it to be construed as a commitment by NASA to pay for the information solicited.

If selected for consideration through this notice, the prospective partner(s) will work closely with a NASA MSFC scientist or engineer to jointly develop a proposal. The MSFC scientist or engineer will serve as the Project Lead of the joint technical proposal. This joint proposal will be reviewed and considered by NASA MSFC for submission to NASA Headquarters (HQ). It is expected that the partner(s) selected to develop ECI proposals would provide (at no cost to NASA) conceptual designs, technical data, proposal input, project schedules, and cost estimates as required. NASA will not reimburse organizations for the cost of submitting information in response to this Sources Sought. NASA will not pay for proposal preparation costs incurred by the partners.

If the joint proposal is selected, NASA MSFC anticipates issuing contracts or other agreements to the selected partner(s) to perform the proposed technology hardware development with the MSFC Project Lead.

No solicitation exists: This is not a solicitation, so do not request a copy. However, if a prospective partner is selected for participation in the STMD Early Career Initiative, Call for Proposals, it will be so notified by the MSFC Office of Procurement and all necessary communications will occur at that time. ONLY those who reply to this Sources Sought notice will be eligible for participation. Information Protection: NASA support service contractors may have access to partner submittals. All information received in response to this notice that is marked Proprietary will be handled and protected accordingly. NASA support service contractors are under an obligation to keep third-party proprietary information in confidence. By submitting a response to this notice, the responder is deemed to have consented to release of proprietary data to such NASA support service contractors.

Return Policy: Responses to this notice will not be returned.

Technical and programmatic questions should be directed to Andrew Keys ( and procurement questions should be directed to Melinda E Swenson ( All questions should be submitted electronically.

Point of Contact

    Name: Melinda E. Swenson

    Title: Contracting Officer

    Phone: 256-961-7454

    Fax: 256-961-7524


    Name: Belinda F Triplett

    Title: Contracting Officer

    Phone: 256-544-3203

    Fax: 256-544-2934





SpaceRef staff editor.