Status Report

NASA Solicitation: Micro-small Satellite Class Payload Launch Services – NEXT XL

By SpaceRef Editor
July 30, 2014
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jul 22, 2014

    Modification 01 – Posted on Jul 22, 2014  

General Information

    Solicitation Number: NNK14NEXTXL01L

    Posted Date: Jul 22, 2014

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jul 22, 2014

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: Aug 15, 2014

    Current Response Date: Aug 22, 2014

    Classification Code: V — Transportation, travel, and relocation services

    NAICS Code: 336414


Contracting Office Address

NASA/John F. Kennedy Space Center, Procurement, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is hereby soliciting information about potential sources for Micro/Small Satellite Class payload launch services. The potential payload(s) will be used for operational science to address specific science requirements or to augment existing capabilities. The initial launch is anticipated to be not earlier than 2019, with recurring launch opportunities anticipated approximately every 4 years. The information provided will be used to support development of upcoming Earth Venture Mission Announcements of Opportunity and the upcoming Earth Science Decadal survey.

NASA/KSC is seeking information regarding various approaches in order to determine the appropriate balance of cost, schedule and technical risk. The launch service shall be capable of delivering a Class D risk category spacecraft, per NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 8705.4, Risk Classification for NASA Payloads, via single or multiple launches. The launch service requires delivery of a potential total payload mass of 300kg to a minimum orbital altitude of 425km (with performance capability requested up to 705km) at a launch inclination between 33 and 98 degrees. The commercial provider will select the optimal launch inclination within the range of 33 to 98 degrees, along with the launch site. The commercial provider may also describe any additional capabilities at various altitudes and inclinations within the 33 to 98 degree range.

Information is requested on launch service capabilities to lift a maximum payload mass of 300kg utilizing any of the following approaches:

a) Multiple launches, each with an identical single satellite, with a mass greater than or equal to 25kg b) Multiple launches, each with groups of identical satellites, with a mass greater than or equal to 25kg per satellite c) Single launch with a group of identical satellites, with a mass greater than or equal to 25kg per satellite d) Single launch of a single satellite, with a mass less than or equal to 300kg

Additional information is requested on the ability of the proposed system to support multiple satellite deployments with pointing and stabilization regained between release times.

The launch service will include launch vehicle advance planning and analysis; as well as design, development, production, integration, and testing required to provide the appropriate capability to transport these payloads to the desired orbit. The launch service provider will be responsible for obtaining a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license and securing any necessary Range assets for the launch.

Interested offerors/vendors having the required specialized capabilities to meet the above requirement should submit a capability statement of 10 pages or less indicating the ability to perform all aspects of the effort described herein. It is not sufficient to provide only general brochures or generic information.

Responses must include the following:

1) Company name and address; 2) Business size classification (Small, Small Disadvantaged (SDB), 8(a), Woman-owned (WOSB), Veteran Owned (VOSB), Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SD-VOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) businesses, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)/Minority Institutions (MI) including the number of employees and the number of years in business; 3) Provide information demonstrating your technical capability to meet the requirements described above and the details of the development, test, and flight experience (if any) of each major system planned for use in your launch vehicle. In addition submit a maximum of 5 government or commercial contracts in the last 5 years demonstrating your relevant experience; In addition to the description of the contracts also include contract numbers, contract type, dollar value of each procurement, and point of contact – address and phone number; 4) Include a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) estimate of the fixed price for any or all of the launch service approaches, a-d as listed above. In addition, include an overview of the basis of estimate for this ROM, including any development costs already expended (or still being sought) to enable commercial operations on or before the anticipated launch; 5) If providing a ROM for launch service approach a and/or b, also include a schedule indicating the launch frequency capability to deliver the full payload mass requirement to orbit; 6) If providing a ROM for launch service approach b and/or c, also include details of the proposed launch vehicle system to support multiple satellite deployment with pointing and stabilization between release times; 7) Include a separate ROM estimate for any additional cost (if any) that would be “in addition to” the fixed price launch service ROM, associated with NASA Insight & Approval per NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 8610.23, Launch Vehicle Technical Oversight Policy. NASA LSP intends to certify the launch vehicle to the Category 1 level, per NPD 8610.7, Launch Services Risk Mitigation Policy for NASA-Owned and/or NASA-Sponsored Payloads/Missions. Per NPD 8610.7, a Category 1 level launch vehicle certification allows NASA to perform a high-level review of commercial provider processes. Category 1 is not a rigorous technical review of launch vehicle systems from end-to-end and NASA is willing to accept the risk of being the first flight. Insight & Approval grants NASA access to Contractor data, documentation, drawings, analytical models, and support services necessary to accommodate approvals of certain Contractor tasks and milestones in order to independently assure reasonable actions have been taken to ensure mission success. Identify major cost drivers that impact this ROM; 8) Include a summary of any unique contract conditions desired. Please note: NASA will not assist in providing access to Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) as part of a commercial launch system or launch site; 9) Provide a copy of the commercial provider’s current launch manifest through 2020. 10) Provide a high level schedule of the key Launch Vehicle systems (e.g. propulsion, avionics, structures, ground systems) development and qualification tests in support of the Initial Launch Capability of the Contractor’s launch service to be used to meet the noted requirements.

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 offerors responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.

This requirement is considered to be a commercial item is defined in FAR 2.101. This synopsis is for information and planning purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for information solicited. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation.

It is anticipated that this procurement will consider domestic sources only as Public Law 105-303, 51 U.S.C 50131, et. seq., states that the Federal Government shall acquire space transportation services from United States commercial providers whenever such services are required in the course of its activities.

All responses shall be submitted via email to Erik Whitehill ( no later than 30 days after the release of this RFI. Please reference NNK14NEXTXL01L in any response. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

    Name:Erik C Whitehill

    Title:Contract Specialist



SpaceRef staff editor.