Status Report

NASA Strategic Planning Study Solicitation

By SpaceRef Editor
October 12, 2001
Filed under ,

General Information

Solicitation Number: W-10-06333
NAIS Posted Date: Sep 14, 2001
CBDNet Posted Date: Sep 14, 2001
Response Date: N/A
Classification Code: R — Professional, administrative, and mgmt support services

Contracting Office Address


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



NASA/HQ plans to issue a Request for Quote (RFQ) for a Strategic Planning Study.

This unrestricted procurement is being conducted under the Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP).

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. See note 26.

The anticipated release date of RFQ W-10-06333 is on or about 4 October 2001 with an anticipated quote due date of on or about 5 November 2001.

All qualified responsible sources may submit a quote which shall be considered by the agency.

An ombudsman has been appointed – See NASA Specific Note “B”.

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/HQ Business Opportunities home page is

Prospective offerors shall notify this office of their intent to submit an offer. It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the Internet site for the release of the solicitation and amendments (if any). Potential quoters 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:

Point of Contact

Name: Marion M. Jones
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: (301) 286-6682
Fax: (301) 286-0366
Email: [email protected]

Request for Quotation (RFQ) for a Strategic Planning Study

1. Description

NASA Headquarters Procurement Office, Mail Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771 requests offers for a Strategic Planning Study that investigates potential NASA roles in significant space markets that may develop by 2025.

In compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the purpose of the study is to provide input to the NASA HQs Strategic Planning staff to facilitate a thorough understanding of key factors outside NASA’s control that could impact achievement of NASA’s goals and objectives. A baseline assumption is that a long-term (25-year) outlook is appropriate to federal agencies engaged in research and development with long lead times, but the external context (such as demographic, technological, geo-political and economic variables) may change dramatically during that time.

The product shall comprise two selective (i.e., not comprehensive) literature reviews and one analysis. The first literature review will address Future Space Markets; the second literature review will address NASA and Government Roles in Space Market Development. The third item shall be a well-reasoned, well-substantiated analysis of New Space Markets and Appropriate Government Roles. This analysis will draw on the findings of the -literature reviews to develop five to eight scenarios of potential government roles in the future space industry and market.

NASA will retain copyright on the reports. The primary audience is internal to NASA. (NASA may publish all or part of the reports and will credit the author.)

Deliverables shall include the literature reviews and analysis, an oral briefing, an initial work plan briefing, draft documents, and quarterly progress reports. The selected contractor will coordinate with the COTR during development of the Study. The total period of performance is twelve months from award.

2. Statement of Work:

Strategic Planning Study

1. Objectives

Provide a Strategic Planning study comprising selective literature reviews and original analyses to

Identify and assess the near- and long-term roles NASA might play with regard to significant space markets that are likely to develop by the year 2025.

2. Background

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 requires that in preparing its Strategic Plan each agency identify “those key factors external to the agency and beyond its control that could significantly affect the achievement of the general goals and objectives.” The NASA Strategic Plan describes NASA’s planned program for the next 25 years. Such a long-term outlook is essential for an R&D agency engaged in long lead-time efforts, but the external context (demographic, technological, geopolitical, economic) may change dramatically during that time period. This could in turn require adjustments in how NASA plans to achieve its goals and in the goals themselves.

Markets are a key factor affecting a number of NASA goals. Conversely, some of NASA’s goals entail influencing markets. When combined with the likely major contextual changes noted above, this paradox results in a particularly complex long-term strategic planning horizon. This study will investigate this horizon by identifying major space markets that may evolve within this changing context and suggest roles NASA might play with regard to such markets.

The following examples illustrate the complex and changing relationship between markets and NASA roles. The market for commercial activities on the International Space Station has not developed as quickly as NASA had hoped, and the market for space activities in general remains limited, primarily constrained by the high cost of achieving orbit. Meanwhile, many space interest groups assert that NASA is somehow impeding the natural growth of space markets. While NASA has declined to engage in significant satellite telecommunications research in recent years on the grounds that the industry is mature, Europe and other international competitors have been investing heavily in this research; the US industry’s recent market share loss may or may not be a reflection of that. Finally, many observers suggest that the next major space market to develop will be tourism, and debate regarding potential NASA roles with regard to it has already arisen. For flexible and constructive strategic planning, NASA must attempt to understand not only which space markets may develop but also what role NASA should play in order to help the US obtains maximum benefit from them.

Space market studies have been done in the past, and many of them are highly informative. However, the present study differs from most of them in combining these features: 1) the time frame is longer-term (circa 2025), 2) an explicit focus is on the appropriate government role, 3) literature abstracts must be informative rather than descriptive, and 4) the final product is to be a concise distillation of the most pertinent information rather than a compendium. These characteristics are necessary for the study to have maximum utility for NASA’s long-term Strategic Planning activity.

3. Scope

The product (described in detail below) must be at once wide-ranging, intellectually disciplined, and creative. NASA by no means expects that the study will actually predict the future, but it must provide plausible, well substantiated (and ideally in some cases original) future scenarios with well-reasoned alternative suggestions for NASA roles.

3.1 Task

The task comprises two selective literature reviews and an original analysis. The literature reviews should not attempt to reflect everything written on the subject in question. They should cover the most important and most pertinent works only. They provide essential background for the monograph analysis.

3.1.1 Literature Review: Future Space Markets

Provide informative (not descriptive) abstracts of key documents published since 1990 on future space markets. Include information on scope, methodology (if apparent and significant), and findings and results. This section shall include 15 – 20 abstracts. (If the contractor prefers to provide a greater number of abstracts, it may do so after discussing reasons with NASA and obtaining NASA approval.)

The contractor shall use its best judgment in selecting the documents to abstract based on their importance and their pertinence to answering the question posed as the objective of this study. As a general guideline, however, documents should include major studies that have had a large impact due to readership or visibility of sponsors, but also potentially smaller, less well known studies that are particularly compelling in their depiction of a possible future market. Documents abstracted shall not include minor items such as op ed pieces, media articles, or industry papers focusing on a single highly specialized space application, unless the document makes an unusually powerful case for a space market development that is likely to be highly significant to US and NASA interests.

3.1.2 Literature Review: NASA and Government Roles in Space Market Development

Provide informative (not descriptive) abstracts of key documents on potential constructive NASA or government roles in market development. Include information on scope, methodology (if apparent and significant), and findings and results. This section shall include 15-30 abstracts. The contractor shall use its best judgment in selecting the documents to abstract based on their importance and their pertinence to answering the question posed as the objective of this study. The documents abstracted need not be focused on space markets provided they illustrate government roles that could be applied to space markets. The documents also need not be recent, given the same proviso. This section should provide a wide-ranging sampling of the best thought on constructive ways for the government, and in particular NASA, to interact with markets to benefit US interests. As in the above study, it shall both include major documents that have had a large impact and also seek out less well-known documents that offer a particularly innovative or compelling vision of the government role. It shall represent a variety of roles rather than focusing on one or two particular types of role. Documents abstracted shall generally not include minor items such as opened pieces or small media articles. If the contractor wishes to include such minor (and typically undeveloped) works in its 15-30 abstracts, the contractor must discuss in advance with NASA the reasons these works would be a valuable addition and obtain NASA approval.

3.1.3 Analysis and Scenarios: New Space Markets and Appropriate Government Roles

Analyze, assess, combine, and build upon the findings of the above two literature surveys to generate scenarios for useful government roles vis a vis future space markets. This section is to include five to eight scenarios.

These scenarios shall comprise a blend of pragmatic and creative elements. They may include scenarios similar to today’s interaction between NASA and space markets, but these should be well analyzed and provide new thought on these interactions. The scenarios must also include roles NASA is not currently playing, and these must be well reasoned and well supported. Ideally, the Analysis and Scenarios section will draw on the information presented in the two literature surveys. The contractor may also suggest markets and roles beyond those covered in the literature surveys provided the contractor could make a strong case for them. The goal of this section is a document that is thought provoking, original, well reasoned, and well-substantiated that the Strategic Planning staff can use as a catalyst in long-term planning discussions, in particular in developing the next Strategic Plan that will be issued in September 2003. This section shall be 50-100 pages in length, excluding any appendices, bibliographies, etc.

SpaceRef staff editor.