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 November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Obama aide: U.S. should look at Ukraine military aid A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior. Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites serious violations by Russia of agreements not to...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 

 
LM-facility

Lockheed Martin opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

Lockheed Martin has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center in Moorestown, N.J., to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings tog...
 
 
raytheon-test

Raytheon successfully demonstrates complex, integrated electronic warfare capabilities during prototype flight tests

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Raytheon, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated an end to end, first of its kind, integrated electronic attack system during flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Station Chi...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




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>