Status Report

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Design, Development, and Delivery of an Orbital Space Plane

By SpaceRef Editor
November 3, 2003
Filed under , , ,

General Information

  • Document Type: Presolicitation Notice
  • Solicitation Number: RFP-8-OSP
  • Posted Date: Jul 28, 2003
  • Original Response Date: Aug 08, 2003
  • Original Archive Date: Jul 28, 2004
  • Current Archive Date:
  • Classification Code: A — Research & Development

Contracting Office Address

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


NASA/MSFC intends to negotiate additional scope under existing contracts, and solicit and consider proposals under a limited competition, only with the Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company and a team consisting of the Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Orbital Sciences Corporation, for the design, development, test, delivery, and flight certification of an Orbital Space Plane (OSP).

The existing contracts (including: NAS8-01098 with Lockheed Martin, NAS8-01099 with Boeing, and NAS8-01100 & NAS8-01097 with the team of Northrop Grumman and Orbital) currently provide for performance of OSP system requirements definition and validation, conceptual design, and system specification. This limited contractor group will proceed with the preliminary design of the OSP under the existing contracts, and will compete for the design completion, development, testing and delivery contract.

The estimated period of performance will be through 2012. The nature of this acquisition requires that the current contracts with the three contractor teams be utilized to immediately provide for rapid design of OSP concepts to enable an initial operational capability as soon as practical. This action will enable all three teams to design their OSP concepts concurrent with a limited competition for design completion, testing, delivery, and flight certification of the OSP as soon as practical.

The unusual and compelling urgency of the request is driven by the immediate need to develop an alternate human space transportation system for the International Space Station (ISS).

The nature of this requirement is an acceleration of a previously anticipated 2010 Initial Operational Capability of the OSP. An assessment of ISS crew support and safety for both Crew Rescue and Crew Transfer missions makes the availability of an OSP system essential for NASA’s ISS mission.

The objective of the potential acceleration enabled through this action is to provide initial operational capability of the OSP system as soon as practical, and the associated benefits to ISS utility and crew, up to two years earlier (from 2010 to as early as 2008 or sooner).

NASA/MSFC intends to limit competition pursuant to FAR 6.302-2 which implements 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(2) when the Agency’s need is of such an unusual and compelling urgency that the Government would be seriously injured unless the Agency is permitted to limit the number of sources from which it continues work under existing contracts and solicits bids or proposals. The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to design, develop, build, flight test, and deliver an operational OSP by 2008, in writing, to the identified point of contact not later than 2:00 p.m. local time on August 8, 2003. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a full and open competition basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government. Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice. An Ombudsman has been appointed. See NASA Specific Note “B”.

Original Point of Contact

Paula J Battles, Contract Specialist, Phone (256) 544-5940, Fax (256) 544-2812, Email – Walter S. Melton III, Contracting Officer, Phone (256) 544-0299, Fax (256) 544-6062, Email

Email your questions to Paula J Battles at

SpaceRef staff editor.