Status Report

NASA Special Notice: Advancements in Chemical Propulsion Technologies for In-space Applications

By SpaceRef Editor
August 12, 2004
Filed under , ,

General Information

Document Type: Special Notice

Solicitation Number: NASA-SNOTE-040812-001

Posted Date: Aug 12, 2004

Original Response Date:

Current Response Date:

Original Archive Date: Aug 12, 2005

Current Archive Date: Aug 12, 2005

Classification Code: A — Research & Development

Contracting Office Address

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


THIS IS NOT A NOTICE OF SOLICITATION. IT IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI). In accordance with FAR 52.215-3, NASA does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this solicitation or to otherwise pay for the information solicited.    

Although “proposal” and “offeror” are used in this Request for Information, your response will be treated as information only.    

It shall not be used as a proposal.      

This solicitation is issued for the purpose of obtaining information for planning purposes and to allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and feasibility of chemical propulsion technologies.    

Prospective offerors are invited to submit comments or questions to the identified point of contact, no later than August 23, 2004.    

In responding, please reference RFI-NNM04AA01L.    

Title:       Advancements in Chemical Propulsion Technologies for In-Space Applications.     Research conducted by the In-Space Propulsion Technologies Project is at the forefront of NASA’s efforts to seek new means of enabling faster and more cost efficient missions to the outer planets.    

Advanced propulsion technologies are being developed to contend with NASA’s unique challenges of enabling missions with fast access throughout the solar system and the ability to rendezvous with, orbit, and conduct in situ exploration of planets, satellites and small bodies.     The information sought is for the advanced chemical propulsion technology area.    

Technologies for Earth-to-Orbit missions are not solicited.    

This request is not for information concerning flight demonstrations, technologies beyond Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or at development stages less than TRL 3.      

The information sought is for the advanced chemical propulsion technology area. Conventional storable chemical propulsion systems have historically been used for primary propulsion and other phases of planetary missions.    

The In-Space Propulsion Technology Project seeks, from organizations that have flown chemical propulsion systems on deep space missions, ideas for improving the performance, reliability, cost, and operability of those systems based on their experiences. In addition to “lessons-learned”, this solicitation also seeks the identification of mid-TRL technologies that, if matured appropriately, would improve performance, reliability, cost, and operability.    

NASA/MSFC’s particular interest is information or ideas that address the challenges and issues that advance these technologies from their current state to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6, in the near term.      

Near-term, for the purposes of this RFI, is on the order of 2-4 years.    

This request is not for information concerning flight demonstrations, technologies beyond TRL 6 or at development stages less than TRL 3.    

TRL definitions can be found at    

It is requested that the potential offeror provide a self-assessment of performance, schedule, and system goals for the chemical propulsion technology. Only United States companies/citizens are requested to respond to this announcement.    

This solicitation is further limited to those organizations that have recent, extensive experience in the development and operational use of chemical propulsion systems for robotic spacecraft for either extended-duration Earth orbital or interplanetary missions.    

Interested parties should submit information not to exceed three pages and a maximum of two resumes (not to exceed two pages each). The format is at the discretion of the potential offeror.    

All proprietary information should be marked appropriately.    

Responses will be handled accordingly. Comments, ideas, and information may be forwarded to PS52/Betty Kilpatrick via electronic transmission or by facsimile transmission to or fax to (256) 544-6062. This synopsis is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for the information solicited. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the review.      

NASA may, at its discretion, elect to solicit additional information from selected offerors by requesting on-site visits to an offeror?s site.    

The purpose for any such visit would be consistent with the guidelines stated herein and would constitute no intent to make an award as a direct result of this Request For Information solicitation.     Any site visits will be properly scheduled and coordinated in advance.    

Any questions regarding this announcement should be directed to PS52/Betty Kilpatrick.    

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/MSFC Business Opportunities home page is .    

It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the Internet cite for the release of any further solicitation and/or amendments (if any). Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the solicitation and amendments, if any. Any referenced notes can be viewed at the following URL:

Original Point of Contact

Betty C. Kilpatrick, Contract Specialist, Phone (256) 544-0310, Fax (256) 544-6062, Email – Cynthia B. Hollingsworth, Contracting Officer, Phone (256) 544-1656, Fax (256) 544-6062, Email

Email your questions to Betty C. Kilpatrick at

SpaceRef staff editor.