Status Report

NASA Solicitation: NASA Infrared Telescope Facility Management, Operations, And Mission Support

By SpaceRef Editor
October 18, 2005
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Oct 18, 2005

General Information

Solicitation Number: 11-02-2005
Posted Date: Oct 18, 2005
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Oct 18, 2005
Original Response Date: Nov 02, 2005
Current Response Date: Nov 02, 2005
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541710 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771


THIS IS A SOURCES SOUGHT SYNOPSIS ONLY. NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is seeking qualified sources capable of the management and operations of its Infra-Red Telescope Facility (IRTF), a 3.0 meter telescope located at approximately 13,600 feet near the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is anticipated that performance will be for one year, with a possible extension for an additional two years. NASA SMD is evaluating potential operation of the IRTF beyond 2008.

The IRTF is operated by the Science Mission Directorate to provide timely observation of Solar System objects and planetary research data in support of spacecraft missions. It may also be used as a platform to develop and demonstrate new technologies for planetary observations and future spacecraft missions. Its primary objectives are to:

1) Provide ground-based observation support for the planning and conduct of major, strategic planetary missions (i.e. Cassini, Mars Program), Discovery class missions (i.e Deep Impact, MESSENGER, Dawn), and New Frontiers missions (i.e. New Horizons, Juno). 2) Support basic planetary research by supporting the conduct of observations by the planetary sciences community through grants awarded via competitive process. 3) Support research on Near Earth Objects through use of the IRTF in a scientific program involving collaborations with members of the planetary sciences community. 4) Establish technical and scientific collaboration with appropriate NASA centers, JPL and other space science institutions to foster instrument development for future spacecraft missions.

The IRTF consists of the telescope designed for maximum performance in the infrared portion of the spectrum. It has a 3.0 meter primary mirror with a f/35 Cassegrain focus at a multi-instrument mount for up to four instruments, and a f/120 coude’ focus for larger instruments. Facility instruments are provided for data acquisition and are developed and maintained by the IRTF staff. It also includes the observatory building at the summit which houses the telescope and all operations, support and maintenance work space, all computer equipment to control the telescope and support the collection of data (including a remote telescope control system for world-wide remote observers), and required HVAC and UPS systems. There are also rooms and 2 offices at the Mauna Kea Mid-Level Facility (known as Hale Pohaku), located at approximately 9,000 feet, to support IRTF staff and visiting scientists when not working directly at the summit.

The telescope is operated on all nights of the year except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Other responsibilities of the include: 1) Management of telescope observing time based on recommendations of a national time allocation committee on proposals received from the science community; 2) Technical support to visiting astronomers in obtaining observations as required; and 3) Initiatives to develop and improve IRTF facilities and instrumentation to enhance the capability to support NASA space research and missions. (Funding for visiting astronomer support and new instrumentation is primarily obtained through the National Science Foundation.)

All institutions and individuals working at and with facilities on Mauna Kea are required to abide by all laws, rules, and regulations laid down by the State of Hawaii and by the University of Hawaii to preserve and protect the delicate environment of the mountain and the cultural significance of the site to native Hawaiians. The State of Hawaii has set aside much of the summit area as a Science Reserve, leased to the University of Hawaii. The University has adopted a Master Plan to guide the use of the Reserve as a scientific complex while protecting it for the future. More information about this important aspect of IRTF management and operations can be found at the website of the Office of Mauna Kea Management:

The Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan can be found at:

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.

Vendors having the capabilities necessary to meet or exceed the stated requirements are invited to submit appropriate documentation, literature, brochures, and references.

This sources sought synopsis is provided to assure inclusion of interested firms on the eventual solicitation source list and should not be seen as a formal solicitation document from which a contract will be awarded. A formal synopsis of this procurement will be published electronically and in the Commerce Business Daily, pursuant to FAR 5.2. The solicitation and any documents related to this procurement will be available over the Internet -these documents will reside on the World-wide Web (WWW) server which may be accessed using client browsers, such as Internet Explorer or NETSCAPE. It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor this site for solicitation release. Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the solicitation. Electronic versions of the documents will be provided on the World Wide Web at , and by anonymous ftp to*****. 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. Respondents deemed fully qualified will be considered in any resultant solicitation for the requirement.

The Government reserves the right to consider a small business or 8(a) set-aside based on responses hereto. All responses shall be submitted to Lindley Johnson, NASA Science Mission Directorate, Solar System Division, no later than November 02, 2005.

Point of Contact

Name: Lindley Johnson
Title: Planetary Astronomy Program Scientist
Phone: (202) 358-2314
Fax: (202) 358-3097

SpaceRef staff editor.