Space

March 26, 2014

NASA seeks suborbital flight services proposals for technology demonstrations

Masten Space Systems’ Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight.

NASA is seeking proposals from U.S. commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers to integrate and fly technology payloads for the space agency.

NASA uses companies for suborbital flights to encourage and facilitate the growth of this important aerospace market while also providing a means to advance a wide range of new launch vehicle and space technologies.

NASA successfully selected seven companies in 2011 to provide these commercial services. Since then, the agency has selected 69 technology demonstration payloads requesting suborbital flights and has sponsored 25 commercial payload-flights. This new competition hopes to establish a pool of companies capable of providing flight opportunities to a variety of program-sponsored payloads by awarding contracts to multiple vendors.

“America’s pioneering efforts in opening up near space – from Earth to the edge of space – for testing new space technologies has taken off and continues to soar,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We’ve helped seed this emerging commercial market while also gaining return to the taxpayer on advanced technology development. This new call for commercial providers will help the industry continue to grow while providing a valuable service to NASA and the nation.”

The selected platforms may include suborbital reusable launch vehicles capable of flying to altitudes above 62 miles, as well as high-altitude balloons. The flights will expose the payloads to reduced gravity and near-space environments.

Technology flights are expected to reduce risks associated with emerging technologies and procedures, and overall space operations in future missions, by demonstrating their applications in a relevant environment.

NASA plans on contracting for single payload positions on pre-approved platforms, then pay for space as used. This is a cost-effective way to enable flight testing of new technologies while taking advantage of available space on the best platforms for a given technology. NASA also may choose to fly multiple technologies on a single suborbital flight platform.

The program will accept proposals from companies who have operational vehicles, or those that have conducted test and evaluation flights on vehicles capable of providing flight profiles specified in the solicitation. As this is not a continuation or extension of the 2011 solicitation, previously selected companies also will need to propose to this solicitation to be considered for flight selection.

This solicitation has a base period of performance of two years, with three, one-year options, and total combined contract value of $45 million. The program intends to provide opportunities for additional vendors to be added to the provider pool annually. The solicitation is open until May 8, 2014. The announcement of opportunity can be viewed at: http://go.usa.gov/ZZNW

The solicitation is being made by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, which is designed to foster development of a commercial reusable suborbital transportation industry while developing new technologies and improving microgravity research. When available, such reusable vehicles will provide lower-cost, more frequent, and more reliable access to space.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombings - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it season - As fiscal 2014...
 
 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>