Status Report

NASA Solicitation: Repurposing RS-34 Hardware (Peacekeeper IV)

By SpaceRef Editor
March 31, 2014
Filed under ,

Synopsis – Mar 25, 2014

General Information

    Solicitation Number: NNM14032114L

    Posted Date: Mar 25, 2014

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Mar 25, 2014

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: Apr 21, 2014

    Current Response Date: Apr 25, 2014

    Classification Code: A — Research and Development

    NAICS Code: 541712

Contracting Office Address

NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Procurement Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812


NASA MSFC is interested in concepts and ideas from industry for potential applications for the Rocketdyne produced Peacekeeper IV Stage part name RS-34 propulsion system. The existing RS-34 propulsion system is a remaining asset from the de-commissioned United States Air Force Peacekeeper Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program; specifically the pressure-fed storable bi-propellant Stage IV Post Boost Propulsion System, renamed Phoenix.

Originally designed, the RS-34 Phoenix provided in-space six-degrees-of freedom operational maneuvering to deploy multiple payloads at various orbital locations. MSFC has performed an RS-34 Phoenix Utilization Study in order to understand the unique capabilities of the RS-34 Phoenix and its application to six candidate missions: 1) small satellite delivery (SSD), 2) active debris removal (ADR), 3) SLS kick stage, 4) manned GEO servicing precursor mission, 5) an Earth-Moon L-2 Waypoint mission and 6) Lunar braking and landing stage. The small satellite delivery and orbital debris removal missions were found to closely mimic the heritage RS-34 mission. It is believed that this technology will enable a small, low-cost multiple satellite delivery to multiple orbital locations with a single boost and propulsively capable system to rendezvous and de-orbit Envisat class satellites. For both the small satellite delivery and the orbital debris mission candidates, the RS-34 Phoenix requires the least amount of modification to the existing hardware. The results of the RS-34 Phoenix Utilization Study show that the system is technically sufficient to successfully support all of the missions analyzed.

After decommissioning the Peacekeeper program, these assets were processed for removal of mission specific hardware leaving propulsion systems untouched, propellant in the tanks and stored at Hill AFB in environmentally controlled conditions. Aging and Surveillance test activities predict consistent performance trending well into 2020’s and in some cases 2030. Recent Hotfire activity of the Attitude Control Engine proved a robust thruster demonstrating expected performance.

These assets are currently being demilitarized at the NASA White Sands Test facility. At the current rate of demilitarization, these assets will no longer be available past July of 2016. MSFC would like to solicit concepts and ideas for the various parts and subsystems within the RS-34. As an example, the RS-34 main engine was used by NASA on the Ares I-X roll control system. A description of the main subsystems follows.

AXE (axial) engine description: Rocketdyne N2O4/MMH axial rocket engine. 11.7 kN. Peacekeeper Postboost Axial Thrust. Pressure-fed. 1 main axial engine per post boost propulsion system. Isp=308s. First flight 1983. Thrust: 11.70 kN (2,630 lbf). Specific impulse: 308 s. There are also 8 attitude control engines (ACE) per stage that could be repurposed as well.

ACE engine description: Rocketdyne N2O4/MMH attitude control engine. 0.304 kN. Peacekeeper Post-boost Attitude Control. Pressure-fed. 8 attitude thrusters in each post-boost propulsion system. Isp=255s. First flight 1983. Thrust: 304 N (68 lbf). Specific impulse: 255 s.

Respondents should estimate, broken down by key subsystems, the cost of system development and testing, integration and accommodation for their concepts (in FY14 dollars). This should include an engineering development unit cost. For flight concepts it should include first flight unit cost, and a second flight unit cost.

This request for information (RFI) is open to all types of respondents including, but not limited to, educational, industrial, and not-for-profit organizations.

We request responses within 30 days of the release date of this RFI – in the form of written and illustrated concepts, ideas, and descriptions of capabilities. Responses shall be submitted via e-mail. The subject line of the submission should be “RFI for repurposing RS-34 hardware” and attachments should be in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or PDF format. Files should not be greater than 15 pages (no less than 10 point font except in figure captions). The e-mail text must give a point-of-contact and provide his/her name, address, telephone number, and e-mail 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 from this RFI. To the extent that it is protected information 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. NASA will make a decision on whether to proceed with a procurement action, based on the responses received.

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. Responses should include the following information:

1. Company name, point of contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and nature of interest,

2. Information regarding existing or planned instruments with respect to the above section, and

3. Identification of industry partnerships represented in the response (if any).

At our discretion, NASA may hold meetings with respondents as needed to clarify responses and obtain further details.

All questions shall be directed via e-mail only to Darlene Schmidt at

NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The Center Ombudsman for this acquisition can be found at .

Point of Contact

    Name: Darlene L Schmidt

    Title: Contract Specialist

    Phone: 256-544-2008

    Fax: 256-544-2934


    Name: Belinda F Triplett

    Title: Contracting Officer

    Phone: 256-544-3203

    Fax: 256-544-2934


SpaceRef staff editor.