Status Report

NASA MSFC Solicitation: Ares I Upper Stage Production

By SpaceRef Editor
January 4, 2007
Filed under , , ,
NASA MSFC Solicitation: Ares I Upper Stage Production

Synopsis – Jan 04, 2007

Draft Document – Posted on Jan 04, 2007

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNM07181505R

Posted Date: Jan 04, 2007

FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 04, 2007

Original Response Date: Jan 26, 2007

Current Response Date: Jan 26, 2007

Classification Code: 18 — Space vehicles

NAICS Code: 541710 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

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

NASA/MSFC plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Ares I Upper Stage.

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. See Note 26.
The NAICS Code and Size Standard are 541710 and 1000 employees, respectively.

All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

This pre-solicitation notice coincides with the release of a Draft RFP issued for Industry comments. The response due date identified in this synopsis is for the comments to the Draft RFP. Detailed information on the process to submit comments are contained in the attached DRFP cover letter.
The anticipated release date of the final RFP is on or about Feb 23, 2007 with an anticipated proposal due date in accordance with the information provided in the Draft RFP.

An ombudsman has been appointed — See NASA Specific Note “B”.

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 site 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). Any referenced notes may be viewed at the URLs linked below or included in the Draft RFP.

A pre-solicitation conference will be held on January 17, 2007. Information on the conference and all questions shall be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided in the Draft RFP cover letter.

Point of Contact

Name: George E. Pendley

Title: Contracting Officer

Phone: (256) 544-2949

Fax: (256) 544-6062


Name: Emil L. Posey

Title: Contracting Officer

Phone: (256) 544-0430

Fax: (256) 544-5439




This attachment shall be used by the Contractor to develop an integrated contractor schedule to manage the day to day functions as required to meet the Upper Stage requirements and milestones. The Contractor shall work with NASA to align all tasks and activities to ensure an efficient integration with the Upper Stage Integrated Master Schedule.

Upper Stage Element Milestones Date
Upper Stage PDR May 2008
Upper Stage CDR November 2009
MPTA Test Activation September 2010
Ares I Launch June 2011
Upper Stage GVT Test Activation November 2011
Ares 2 Launch September 2012
Upper Stage DCR December 2012
Orion 3 (First Human Flight) Launch October 2013
Orion 4 Launch March 2014
Orion 5 Launch September 2014
Orion 6 Launch March 2015
Orion 7 Launch September 2015
Orion 8 Launch March 2016
Orion 9 Launch September 2016



1.0 Introduction

The Upper Stage (US) Element is an integral part of the Ares I launch vehicle and provides the second stage of flight. The US is responsible for the roll control during the First Stage burn and separation; and will provide the guidance and navigation, command and data handling, and other avionics functions for the Ares I during all phases of the ascent flight.

The US is a new design that emphasizes safety, operability, and minimum life cycle cost. The overall DDT&E, production, and sustaining engineering efforts include activities performed by three organizations; the NASA Design Team (NDT), the Upper Stage Production Contractor (USPC) and the Instrument Unit Production Contractor (IUPC). For clarity, the USPC will be referred to as the Contractor throughout this document. NASA is responsible for the integration of the primary elements of the Ares I Launch Vehicle including: the First Stage, US including Instrument Unit (IU), and US Engine; and will also integrate the Ares I Launch Vehicle at the launch site.

NASA is responsible for the DDT&E, including technical and programmatic integration of the US subsystems and Government-furnished property. NASA will lead the effort to develop the requirements and specifications of the Ares I US, the development plan and testing requirements, and all design documentation, manufacturing and assembly planning, logistics planning, and operations support planning. Development, qualification, and acceptance testing will be conducted, by NASA and the Contractor, to satisfy requirements and for risk mitigation.

The Contractor is responsible for the manufacture and assembly of the US including the installation of the Government-furnished US Engine, Booster Separation Motors, US IU, and other Government-furnished property. A description of the NASA managed and performed efforts is contained in the US Work Packages and will be made available to the Contractor to ensure their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the NDT, IUPC, and Contractor during the design, development, and operation of the US Element.

The US conceptual design described in the USO-CLV-SE-25704-1C, US Design Definition Document (DDD), is the baseline design for this contract. The Contractor’s early role will be to provide producibility engineering support to NASA via the established US Office structure and to provide inputs into the final design configuration, specifications, and standards.

NASA will transition the manufacturing and assembly, logistics support infrastructure, configuration management, and the sustaining engineering functions to the Contractor at the key points during the development and implementation of the program currently planned to occur no later than 90 days after the completion of the following major milestones:

Manufacturing and Assembly – US Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
Logistics Support Infrastructure – US PDR
Configuration Management – US Critical Design Review (CDR)
Sustaining Engineering – US Design Certification Review (DCR)

After the completion of an orderly transition of roles and responsibilities to the Contractor, NASA will assume an insight role into the Contractor’s production, sustaining engineering, and operations support of the Ares I US test program and flight hardware. After DCR, the Contractor will be responsible for sustaining engineering per SOW section 4.7, as necessary to maintain and support the US configuration and for production and operations support.

The IUPC contracted activities are not part of this procurement. The IUPC will be selected via a separate acquisition and will be responsible for producing the avionics equipment and the installation and checkout of equipment in the US Instrument Ring primary structure as described in SOW section 10.0. The Contractor will be responsible for providing the IU primary structure to the IUPC for installation and checkout of the avionics and supporting hardware. Upon the successful installation and checkout of the avionics hardware, the IUPC will return the IU to the Contractor for final assembly and checkout of the US Element

The paragraphs that include CLIN identification numbers are to identify the type of effort and scope that may be issued via the IDIQ ordering procedures identified in Clause H3, Task Ordering Procedure. The WBS numbers included at the top of each section serve as a reference to the NASA work packages and the current US Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

January 4, 2007


TO: All Prospective Offerors

FROM: NASA, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center

SUBJECT: Draft Request for Proposal NNM07181505R for the Ares I Upper Stage Production Contract

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), is pleased to release the Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP) for the ARES I Upper Stage Production (USP) Contract. The final RFP is anticipated to be released on or about February 23, 2007.

The NASA Design Team (NDT) will lead the design and integration of the Upper Stage throughout the design, development, test, and evaluation phase of the program. The USP Contractor, when selected, will provide producibility engineering to the NDT, design and development of specific component level requirements, manufacture and assemble test articles, flight test units, and ultimately the Ares I Upper Stage per the latest flight manifest. Additional flight units may be ordered through a quantity option feature. The USP Contractor will also provide test, training, operation, and sustaining engineering via Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity task orders.

Potential Offerors should note that there is not a formal “History and Background” section with the solicitation. In lieu of that, various technical and programmatic documentation is posted at the following website: In addition, data on the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) and existing MAF tooling are available after completing the Non-Disclosure Agreement as defined in the Request for Information Update posted to NAIS on November 3, 2006.

Presolicitation Conference

A Presolicitation Conference for the Ares I USP Contract be held as indicated below:

Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Building 4200, 1st Floor, Morris Auditorium

Attendance at the Presolicitation Conference is recommended; however, attendance is neither required nor a prerequisite for proposal submission and will not be considered in the evaluation.

The Presolicitation Conference will be held to provide specific information about the procurement, as well as to provide a site tour. At the end of the overview, potential Offerors will have the opportunity to submit written questions to be answered by the Government. A site tour of MSFC manufacturing and development activities and facilities will be provided. At its conclusion, the potential Offerors will reassemble in Morris Auditorium for a question and answer session.

The Presolicitation Conference briefing charts and a Presolicitation Conference Attendance List will be posted on NAIS as soon as practicable.

To participate in the Presolicitation Conference and Site Tour, please contact Patti Hall via email at on or before COB Thursday, January 11, 2007. NASA provided buses will be available at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, in the parking area at the Administration Entrance (near a blue awning and the Shuttle display) beginning at 8:00 a.m.

It is strongly recommended the participants in the Presolicitation Conference ride the buses from the Space and Rocket Center to facilitate badging and entry onto Redstone Arsenal.

To facilitate security clearances and badging for your participants, include the following information in your email:

Full Name of Participant
Citizenship (Foreign Nationals will not be permitted to attend)
Company Name (U.S. Owned Only)
Position in Company (There is a limit of five attendees per company)
Driver’s License Number and State of Issuance
Bus Participation or Personal Vehicle transportation

If you do not plan to ride the buses, please allow a minimum of 2 hours for the security check at Redstone Arsenal Visitor Center located at Gate 9 (delays are not uncommon) and arrive at the Presolicitation Conference by 8:45 a.m. If arriving by personal vehicle, you must provide a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of vehicle insurance to obtain vehicle pass and badge. If arriving by rental car, you must provide a valid driver’s license and the rental car agreement. No escorts will be provided.

The conference will begin at 9:00 a.m., Central Standard Time, on Wednesday, January 17, 2007. The conference will be in the Morris Auditorium, first floor of building 4200. Parking is usually available surrounding the four building complex.

Presolicitation Conference Agenda: (The conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. All other times are approximate.)

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Acquisition Overview
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tours
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Break for Lunch
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Questions and Answers

The Presolicitation Conference may be recorded.

Individual one-on-one sessions between Industry and NASA will be scheduled for January 18, 2007. These sessions will be held with the declared Upper Stage Production potential Prime Contractor Teams who previously responded to the Notice of Intent. The sessions will be approximately an hour in length and can be scheduled by contacting Earl Pendley at 256-544-2949 no later than COB on January 11, 2007. The intent of these sessions is for Industry to provide comments directly to the Government in a closed setting.

Communications Regarding the Draft Request for Proposal

Communications concerning this draft RFP should be addressed in writing to:

George C. Marshall Space Flight Center
Mail Code: PS40 / Earl Pendley
Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama 35812

Contractor questions and comments to the DRFP are highly encouraged. The Government is specifically interested in Industry’s comments to the following areas:

1. Validation that the Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) structure will allow for effective accomplishment and tracking of work to be performed.
2. Reasonableness of the page limitations for proposal preparation.
3. Reasonableness of the due dates for the various volumes.
4. Ability to respond effectively to the producibility engineering requirement.

In addition, the Government requests that Industry complete the enclosed Responsibility Matrix for NASA’s review of Industry’s understanding of the split of NASA led design and development tasks and those required in the Statement of Work for the potential USP Contractor.

Any communication in reference to this draft solicitation shall cite the solicitation number and be directed to the above Government representative. All comments concerning this DRFP are due no later than COB on January 26, 2007.

Submittals, other than a signed cover page, shall be via electronic media in “Word for Windows,” version Microsoft Word 2003 format (and Excel for the matrix at enclosure) and shall be provided on quality, virus-scanned, virus-free CD-ROM. Each electronic media provided shall have an external label affixed indicating: the name of the Offeror and the DRFP number. All electronic media shall be write-protected and submitted with write protection properly enabled. Please do not respond via e-mail. The Government will not issue specific responses to each comment received.

Changes to the Draft RFP

It is the Offeror’s responsibility to monitor the NAIS website at the following address for any changes to the schedule:

The information provided in this cover letter is not intended to be construed differently from the information in the DRFP. Should an apparent conflict in interpretation exist, the information in the DRFP should be considered to take precedence.

Original signed by

Stephen P. Beale
Procurement Officer

Enclosure – Responsibility Matrix

SpaceRef staff editor.