Status Report

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Space Transportation System Operations for the Space Shuttle

By SpaceRef Editor
July 20, 2004
Filed under , , ,

General Information

  • Document Type: Presolicitation Notice
  • Solicitation Number: STSOC-2004-001
  • Posted Date: Jul 19, 2004
  • Original Response Date: Aug 06, 2004
  • Current Response Date: Aug 06, 2004
  • Original Archive Date: Jul 19, 2005
  • Current Archive Date: Jul 19, 2005
  • Classification Code: A — Research & Development

Naics Code: 541710 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, 77058-3696, Mail Code: BV


NASA/JSC has a requirement for continuing services currently provided by United Space Alliance (USA) under the Space Flight Operations Contract.    

The primary requirements are:

  •        Mission Design & Planning
  •        Software Development & Integration
  •        Astronaut & Flight Controller Training
  •        System Integration
  •        Flight Operations
  •        Vehicle Processing, Launch, & Recovery
  •        Vehicle Sustaining Engineering
  •        Flight Crew Equipment Processing The Space Shuttle Program proposes to use a cost-plus-award fee/performance fee contract.    

The period of performance will be 4 years plus options to provide coverage through the end of Program life and Program shutdown.    

The Space Shuttle Program anticipates retiring the fleet and shutdown of the Program in approximately 2010.    

The options provide flexibility to allow the Program to continue to meet its needs, should retirement and shutdown extend beyond the current estimate. NASA/JSC intends to award a contract for these services to USA. The statutory authority for proceeding with this acquisition using Other Than Full and Open Competition is 10 U.S.C. 2304 (c)(1) as contemplated by the provision of FAR 6.302-1(a)(2)(iii).      

This provision states that full and open competition need not be provided for when the services required by the agency are available from only the original source in the case of a follow-on contract for the continued provision of highly specialized services.     The provision also states that this exception is applicable when it is likely that award to any other source would result in substantial duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition, or there would be unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency?s requirements. The original Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition (JOFOC) for the current NAS 9-20000 Space Flight Operations Contract (SFOC), currently held by USA was approved by the NASA Administrator on November 7, 1995.    

This JOFOC determined that, pursuant to the authority of 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(7), as implemented by Subsection 6.302-7 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, it was in the public interest to use other than full and open competition for the award of the SFOC contract. The SFOC strategy was developed as a result of a recommendation from a study done by Dr. Christopher Kraft, to improve efficiency and reduce costs for the Space Shuttle Program.     The single prime shuttle operations contract was also planned to reduce the number of civil servants required for day-to-day shuttle operations, thereby further reducing costs. NASA plans to use the Space Shuttle to complete the assembly of the ISS.    

The ISS assembly schedule is tightly constrained.    

The schedule margin that would be required for a competitive selection and potentially incorporating a new prime contractor into the Program would not support the ISS assembly schedule.      

Competition of the Space Shuttle operations requirements could also lead to the loss of knowledgeable personnel and     introduce added risk to the Shuttle program, and, because of the transition time required, could potentially increase the safety risks to the orbiter and crew.     Because of these considerations, including the unacceptable costs and delays that would be incurred to conduct a competition and/or select a different prime contractor, the potential benefits from competition do not justify accepting these substantial risks to the Shuttle and ISS programs. In conclusion, USA is the only firm believed to be capable of fulfilling the proposed requirements. The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.      

See Note 26. See note 22.       Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice. All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency. An Ombudsman has been appointed.     See NASA Specific Note “B”. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Original Point of Contact

Michael J Lonchambon, Contracting Officer, Phone (281) 244-5151, Fax (281) 483-9632, Email – Billy E. Autry, Contracting Officer, Phone (281) 483-6864, Fax (281) 483-6919, Email

Email your questions to Michael J Lonchambon at

SpaceRef staff editor.