Status Report

NASA Solicitation: Mars Ascent Vehicle Technologies for Development

By SpaceRef Editor
December 1, 2008
Filed under , , ,
NASA Solicitation: Mars Ascent Vehicle Technologies for Development


Synopsis – Dec 01, 2008

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNC09Z005
Posted Date: Dec 01, 2008
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Dec 01, 2008
Original Response Date: Dec 29, 2008
Current Response Date: Dec 29, 2008
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 927110 – Space Research and Technology

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135


NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project has been assigned the responsibility of developing propulsion technologies needed to enable future sample return missions. In recognition of the high interest of the science community in the return of samples from Mars the ISPT project, working in conjunction with the Mars Technology Program (MTP), will be starting an effort to develop long lead and critical technologies necessary for a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). NASA/GRC is hereby requesting information from potential sources for the design, development and ground or flight validation testing of technologies supporting innovative and progressive concepts applicable for the Mars Ascent Vehicle development in the near-term. Of particular interest is a MAV design/architecture or supporting technologies that reduces the system mass as compared to the previous studies. Technologies should be applicable for, but are not limited to either a two-stage solid (primary interest) or a liquid propulsion system with three-axis stabilization. Submitting organizations are directed to references:

Stephenson, D., “Mars Ascent Vehicle – Concept Development,” AIAA 2002-4318, 48th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Indianapolis, Indiana, July 7-10, 2002. Stephenson, David D., and Willenberg, Harvey J., “Mars Ascent Vehicle Key Elements of a Mars Sample Return Mission,” 2006 IEEE Aerospace Conference, March 2006, paper #1009. Mattingly, Richard, Hayati, Samad, and Udomkesmalee, Gabriel, “Technology Development Plans for the Mars Sample Return Mission,” 2005 IEEE Aerospace Conference, March 2005, paper #1518.

The areas of interest include, but are not limited to: propellants that require no or minimal environmental control for 90-365 Martian days on the Martian surface, e.g. RCS (Reaction Control System) monopropellant with freezing temperatures below 150k, solid propellants that maintains bondline integrity during the thermal cycling with minimum storage temperature of 150k and minimum operational temperature 233k; propellants offering improvements in specific impulse e.g. nanoparticle aluminum loading; component technologies suitable for the Martian environment and that offer significant reduction in mass for operations including propulsive maneuvers, thermal storage, launch erection, thrust vector control (TVC), guidance and communication, e.g. advanced insulation, pintle nozzle with integrated TVC, valves, actuators, flex seals, composite motor case, lightweight avionics, etc. The concept must be above TRL 2 with rapid demonstration to TRL 4 expected and development to TRL 6 practical within a 4-6 year horizon. Submissions must provide a detailed technical explanation of the proposed technology, self-assessment of the TRL, cost/schedule estimate to achieve TRL 6, and most of the effort associated with the submission should be placed upon the technical explanation. Variations of existing propulsion methods or chief subsystem component improvements are also suitable for submission. Key to each idea is an unambiguous knowledge of past research/concepts conducted on related work and specifically how this new concept differs to the extent that it appears to offer a significant benefit. Submissions are intended to aid in future NRA (NASA Research Announcement) preparation. NRA figures of merits would emphasize reductions in mass and risk. Proprietary information is undesired, but is acceptable if clearly marked. Inputs will be reviewed by support service contractors.

Interested parties should submit information not to exceed three pages for each concept. Please note that these statements will also be read by non-experts. In the header please include the submitting institution, contact person, and RFI title.

Information on all Mars ascent vehicle technologies should be sent, via electronic transmission or by facsimile transmission.

Technical Point of Contact

This presolicitation synopsis is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for the information submitted in response. Respondents will not be notified of the results.

[OMBUDSMAN STATEMENT IS REQUIRED] An ombudsman has been appointed — See NASA Specific Note “B”. NASA RFI: Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) Technologies for Development Contracting Office Address: NASA/Glenn Research Center, M/S 500-305, Cleveland, OH 44135

Point of Contact

Name: John W Dankanich
Title: Technical Point of Contact
Phone: 216-433-5356
Fax: 216-433-2480

Name: Ernest C. Mensurati
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 216-433-2727
Fax: 216-433-2480

SpaceRef staff editor.