This notice is issued by the
NASA/MSFC to post a Request for Information (RFI) via the
internet, and solicit responses from interested parties. This
document is for information and planning purposes and to allow
industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and
feasibility of the requirement, as well as promote competition.
The NASA Science Mission
Directorate (SMD) has directed the Marshall Space Flight Center
(MSFC) and the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics
Laboratory (APL) to implement one of what is expected to be a
series of missions to put in place an International Lunar
Network (ILN). Hence, the Government is requesting information
pertaining to existing subsystems and/or other component
elements that are capable of transporting and delivering science
instrument packages to the lunar surface. The term "existing"
refers to hardware development levels equivalent to flight
spares, engineering units, and/or high technology readiness
level (TRL3 or greater) hardware that could be flight qualified
and flown as part of the ILN, anticipated for launch in the
2012-2014 time-frame. In the event that flight spares or
engineering units are not available, the Government is also
interested in "build to print" or "scaleable" possibilities from
existing flight hardware. Hardware that would deliver science
instrument packages to the lunar surface, hereafter referred to
as "landers", would include such things as penetrators and hard
or soft landers. The Government is also interested in other
innovative existing hardware solutions extensible to the
placement of science instrument packages on the lunar surface.
The short development schedule
and limited budget preclude extensive lander or technology
development. Hence, NASA mission planners must focus on mature,
functioning hardware, including flight spares from other
missions, engineering units of existing flight hardware, or high
TRL hardware that can easily be flight qualified, "built to
print", or that require limited additional development. Please
see the document (NPR 7120.8 App J - TRL Definitions.pdf)
accompanying this RFI on FedBizOpps for definitions of hardware
and technology readiness levels.
The ILN represents a series of US
and International Partner provided surface packages (sensing
nodes), which act as common science nodes in a lunar geophysical
network that will address Agency science goals. The NASA SMD
expects that each node in ILN will provide a minimum core suite
of two instruments and will include a lander to deliver these
nodes to the lunar surface. Additional measurements and/or
instruments may be accommodated provided adequate mass, power
and budget margins exist. The mission addressed by this RFI
encompasses two landers (i.e., anchor nodes). These first two
nodes of the ILN will likely be placed at high lunar latitudes.
The landers are expected to be
small. For planning and RFI purposes, the following represent
approximate anticipated payload/instrument accommodation
considerations and constraints that will be used to assess
lander capability and sizing applicability.
Mass: 25-50 kg Power: 1 W
continuous, 2 W peak G-Load: 40 g Data Rate: 100 Mbits per Earth
day (transmitted or stored)
Note: This RFI ONLY pertains to
delivery/lander hardware. Information on potential science
instruments is NOT requested.
The total life cycle budget for
this ILN mission, through phase E, is based on a low cost small
class launch vehicle. However, the specific launch vehicle for
this mission has not yet been determined. Therefore, the precise
mass available for landers and payloads is not yet known, as
this will depend on specific launch vehicle capabilities. Trade
studies of payload delivery options are currently underway.
The NASA/MSFC has issued this RFI
to survey the planetary science community and other commercial
or government interests for existing flight or near flight
subsystem and/or component hardware that can support the science
objectives of the ILN mission.
It is not NASA's intent to
publicly disclose proprietary information obtained during this
RFI. To the full extent that it is protected pursuant to the
Freedom of Information Act and other laws and regulations,
information identified by a respondent as "Proprietary or
Confidential" will be treated as such. Personnel from the
Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University may
be involved in activities related to this RFI. Any APL personnel
given access to information provided to NASA in response to this
RFI will be bound by Non-Disclosure Agreement.
This RFI is for information and
acquisition planning 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. This is NOT a request for proposals or notice of
solicitation - no solicitation related to this RFI currently
exists. If a solicitation is released, it will be synopsized in
FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service.
Depending on the response, NASA
may consider a one-day workshop for responders to present and
discuss their submissions both in an open forum and,
potentially, in a confidential setting.
Responses to this RFI shall be in
the form of a PDF document that is emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses should not exceed five (5)
pages in length and must contain the following information:
1. Name of respondent and contact
information (institutional affiliation, email address, phone
number, etc.); 2. Capabilities and qualifications statement that
addresses the respondent's ability to actually provide the
hardware as identified above; 3. A description of the hardware,
how it functions and how it supports the objectives of the ILN
mission; 4. A color photograph of the hardware (brassboard,
engineering unit, flight unit, etc.); 5. A description of the
hardware volume, and power requirements and any relevant
constraints or limitations; 6. A description of payload
accommodations - mass, volume and power and any other relevant
constraints or limitations; 7. The current status of the
hardware, including TRL, the conditions/environments under which
the hardware has been tested and/or used. (e.g. radiation
hardened, life limited, qualified to industry/company standards
or hybrid, special infrastructure required)
Comments may be forwarded to
Melnda E. Dodson by email at email@example.com or by
facsimile transmission at 256-961-7723.
This presolicitation synopsis is
not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will
the Government pay for the information submitted in response.
Respondents will not be notified of the results.
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 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 http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/bizops.cgi?gr=D&pin=62 It
is the offeror's responsibility to monitor the Internet cite for
the release of the solicitation and amendments (if any).
Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their own
copy of the solicitation and amendments, if any.
Any referenced notes may be
viewed at the following URLs linked below.
Point of Contact
Name: Melinda E. Dodson
Title: Contracting Officer
Name: Melinda E. Dodson
Title: Contracting Officer