Status Report

NASA Request for Information for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Propulsion Subsystem

By SpaceRef Editor
January 4, 2005
Filed under , , ,

LRO Propulsion Specification and Information 01 – Posted on Jan 04, 2005

General Information

Document Type: Sources Sought Notice

Solicitation Number: 1-4-05-RFI-LRO

Posted Date: Jan 04, 2005

Original Response Date: Jan 19, 2005

Current Response Date: Jan 19, 2005

Original Archive Date: Jan 04, 2006

Current Archive Date: Jan 04, 2006

Classification Code: A — Research & Development

Naics Code: 927110 — Space Research and Technology

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 210.S, Greenbelt, MD 20771



RFI Purpose: The Robotic Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Program may seek to procure a propulsion subsystem for the LRO spacecraft.    

This subsystem would include the thrusters for in-space maneuvers as well as the propellant storage and delivery system.    

The propulsion subsystem vendor would provide all the engineer, design, integration, and test support required for the development of the propulsion subsystem. The propulsion subsystem would be integrated to the LRO during spacecraft bus integration.    

In order to perform systems level trades, information is sought on monopropellant and bi-propellant options with particular interest in cost and schedule estimates for developing these systems and the assumption used for the estimates. Other propulsion options are invited.    

While our intent may be to team with industrial partner(s), we are not bound by this RFI to do so. It is neither a Request for Proposal, nor a Request for Quotation, nor an Invitation to Bid. Therefore, this RFI is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contract, nor will the Government pay for information provided in response to this RFI.    

Background: The LRO mission consists of observations of the moon from a low lunar circular orbit (50 km +/- 20 km altitude).    

This a 13 month mission at the primary observation altitude with and extended mission at higher elliptical altitude.     LRO will be launch on a Delta-II class launch vehicle in November 2008.      

The launch vehicle will inject the spacecraft into a trans-lunar orbit.     LRO’s on-board propulsion system will provide delta V for launch vehicle dispersion errors, capture into lunar orbit, lunar observation altitude orbit maintance, and transfer to end of life elliptical orbit mission altitude.    

More information about the LRO mission including science objectives, spacecraft architectures, and spacecraft development schedule can be found on line at http://lunar.gsfc.nasa/ Considerations: The LRO Propulsion subsystem design and performance requirements are given in the attached LRO Propulsion Specifications and Information Document.    

Included are the delta-V requirements, general design requirements, and interface constraints and considerations.    

The current LRO formulation designs for monopropellant and bi-propellant options are included.      

The anticipated date of release of an RFP to procure the propulsion subsystem from a vendor, if desired by the LRO project, is March 25, 2005.    

The required date of delivery of the spacecraft I&T is November 31, 2006. Information: The NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center is interested in soliciting the overall concepts, estimates of cost and development schedules, comments on interface definitions, and development risk evaluations. The objectives of this RFI are:

1) to improve NASA’s knowledge of industry’s capabilities;

2) to improve the overall understanding of what the propulsion options exist for LRO; and

3) to invite industry to submit information that will allow NASA to assess the partnering opportunities that exist within industry to build the propulsion subsystem for LRO.

To consolidate our planning, we request responses from industry within 14 days of the release date of this RFI, in the form of written and illustrated concepts, estimates for subsystem development cost and schedule, assumptions used for cost and schedule estimates including interface and design assumptions, and descriptions of capabilities.     Also included in the response should be performance characteristics of potential systems including mass, power, C&DH requirements, total delta-V capability, and attitude control capability. Responses can be submitted via email. The subject line of the submission should be “RFI for RLO Propulsion System,? and attachments should be in Microsoft WORD, POWERPOINT, or PDF format. The email text must give a point-of-contact and provide his/her name, address, telephone/fax numbers, and email address. The information is requested for planning purposes only, subject to FAR Clause 52.215-3, entitled “Solicitation for Information for Planning Purposes.” It is not NASA’s intent to publicly disclose vendor proprietary information obtained during this solicitation. 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. It is emphasized that this RFI is for planning and information purposes only and 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.      

No solicitation exists; therefore, 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 offeror’s responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis. Technical questions should be directed to:    

Chuck Zakrzwski at (301) 286-3392 or    

Procurement related questions should be directed to: Julie Janus at (301) 286-4931 or Interested offerors shall address the requirements of this RFI in written format as described in the previous paragraphs by electronic mail to: Chuck Zakrzwski at, no later than 5:00 PM EST on January 19, 2005. 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 be in Microsoft Office 97 format and 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/GSFC 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. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

Julie A. Janus, Contracting Officer, Phone (301) 286-4931, Fax (301) 286-0341, Email – Charles Zakrzwski, LRO Project, Phone (301) 286-3392, Fax (301) 286-1718, Email

Email your questions to Julie A. Janus at

SpaceRef staff editor.