COTS Commercial Crew RFI issued

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Synopsis - May 21, 2010

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNH10ZTT005L
Posted Date: May 21, 2010
FedBizOpps Posted Date: May 21, 2010
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Jun 11, 2010
Current Response Date: Jun 11, 2010
Classification Code: A -- Research and Development
NAICS Code: 336414 - Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing

Contracting Office Address

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


NASA investment of financial and technical resources to stimulate efforts within the private sector would aid in the development and demonstration of safe, reliable, and cost-effective space transportation capabilities. In a multiphase strategy, the program would help to spur the innovation and development of new spacecraft and launch vehicles from the commercial industry, creating a new way of delivering cargo - and eventually crew - to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and the International Space Station (ISS). As NASA retires the Space Shuttle, the ability of private industry to take on the task of providing routine access to space is of vital importance.

NASA is currently in the conceptual phase of developing requirements for a Commercial Crew Transportation (CCT) capability that would be able to transport NASA astronauts and spaceflight participants safely to and from LEO and the ISS.

The purpose of this RFI is to collect information from industry to help NASA plan the overall strategy for the development and demonstration of a CCT capability and to receive comments on NASA human-rating technical requirements that have been drafted as part of this initiative.

The draft CCT-1001, Commercial Human-Rating Plan (CHRP), defines the allocation of responsibilities, requirements, mandatory standards, and process for achieving NASA human spaceflight certification for commercial crew transportation services in compliance with NPR 8715.3C, NASA General Safety Requirements, Chapter 1.14. The CHRP draws heavily upon NPR 8705.2B, Human-Rating Requirements for Space Systems, as tailored for LEO CCT systems. Specific health and medical requirements tailored for commercial human systems integration, as well as system performance goals and objectives and additional requirements associated with ISS visiting vehicles are currently being developed and are planned to be provided for comment at a later time. The preliminary contents of the ISS Services Requirements Document (which will provide the system performance requirements, including the probability of Loss of Crew and Loss of Mission, for reference during the development and demonstration phase), the updated contents of SSP 50808, ISS to COTS Interface Requirements Document, as well as the CHRP and access to other applicable and reference documents are available under the technical library link at .

NASA is specifically requesting the following information:

1. Company name, point of contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and nature of interest in CCT. Provide sufficient information to determine if your company qualifies as a United States commercial provider of space transportation services as defined in Public Law 105-303, Commercial Space Act of 1998.

2. Discuss any aspects of the NASA documents contained in this RFI that result in significant cost, schedule, or technical impacts to your company's CCT system. What clarifications or suggestions do you propose to minimize impacts or improve design flexibility, safety, or reliability? Provide rationale for any alternative suggestions that may meet or exceed the intent of these requirements and standards. Comments on the allocation of responsibilities in Section 4 Tables II and III of the CHRP, as well as the proposed fault tolerance requirements (3.2.2 and 3.2.3) in Table III are of particular interest.

3. NASA has entered into competitively awarded funded Space Act Agreements with U.S. commercial partners for the development and demonstration of Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) cargo capabilities using pay for performance milestones. This was followed by a separate competitive procurement of ISS Commercial Resupply Service contracts. From your perspective, what were the pros, cons, and limitations for each of these approaches for both the initial development/demonstration phase and the follow on purchase of services phase for CCT? What changes or improvements do you suggest to this strategy or its related terms and conditions for both the initial development/demonstration phase and the follow on purchase of services phase for CCT?

4. What is the approximate dollar magnitude of the minimum NASA investment necessary to ensure the success of your company's CCT development and demonstration effort? What is the approximate government fiscal year phasing of this investment from award to completion of a crewed orbital flight demonstration? What percentage of the total development cost would the NASA contribution represent?

5. What significant NASA furnished resources (equipment, facilities, material, services) would your company likely request to complete the CCT development and demonstration?

Additional background information on COTS may be found at

This is a request for information only. It is not a procurement commitment to procure services, or request for proposals. Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by NASA to form a binding agreement or contract. NASA is under no obligation to issue a solicitation or to enter into any agreement or award any contract on the basis of this RFI. NASA will not pay for any information solicited. No evaluation letters and/or results will be issued to the respondents. No solicitation exists; therefore do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.

Although it is not NASA's intent to publicly disclose proprietary information obtained during this RFI, NASA reserves the right to share all information received in response to this RFI throughout NASA and to use all information submitted in response to this RFI in NASA's formulation of one or more solicitations seeking competitive proposals related to the initiatives described herein. Any information submitted in response to this RFI that is marked as "Proprietary" or "Confidential Commercial or Financial Information" will be considered as voluntarily submitted in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Additionally, any International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)-restricted information should be appropriately labeled responses to the RFI.

Instructions for Submitting Electronic Documents via NSPIRES

All responses submitted as electronic documents in response to this RFI must be submitted in electronic form via NSPIRES, the NASA online announcement data management system, located at . For this RFI, a response submission shall take the form of a Notice of Intent (NOI) within the NSPIRES online announcement data management system. The RFI response itself shall be a PDF-formatted document that is attached (uploaded) to the NSPIRES system.

You must be registered with NSPIRES to submit a RFI response. It is recommended that respondents access the site well in advance of the RFI due date to familiarize themselves with the structure and enter the requested identifier information. See registration instructions at (select "Getting an account"). Neither institution registration nor an institution affiliation is required to respond to this RFI.

1. Log in to your account at . Log in using your NSPIRES user name and password 2. Access "Proposals" in the NSPIRES Options Page (note footnote above regarding term "Proposals"). 3. Select "Create NOI" in the upper right hand corner of the proposals page. 4. Click "Continue" on the next page. 5. Select "Request for Information: NNH10ZTT005L (Commercial Crew Transportation) from the bullet list of announcements. 6. Click "Continue". 7. Enter RFI response title ("NOI title" field will be shown). 8. Select "do not link at this time" for submitting organization page. 9. Click "Save" on next page. 10. It is not necessary to complete any of the "NOI Details"; all requested information should be included in the attached PDF document. Information which is entered into "NOI Details" but not included in the attached PDF document will not be considered. 11. Prepare your RFI response offline and save as a PDF document (note NSPIRES instructions on .pdf formats). The response document must include the respondent's Name, institution, and e-mail address so the file is self-contained. File names format should be "PI Last Name - First Name - CCT RFI". The response should not exceed three pages in length 12. To attach (upload) your PDF document: a. Click "add" under NOI attachments section; b. Select "Proposal Document" from the drop down list; c. Browse to attach your PDF file; d. Select "Upload"; e. Click "OK"; f. Your RFI document has been uploaded to NSPIRES. 13. Click Submit NOI button.

Please note: You may delete and replace form fields and uploaded documents anytime before the submission deadline.

Requests for assistance in accessing and/or using the NSPIRES website should be submitted by E-mail to or by telephone to (202) 479-9376 Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Eastern Time. FAQs on NSPIRES may be accessed through the Proposal Online Help site at .

Tutorials of NSPIRES are available at .

No solicitation exists; therefore, please do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service.

Point of Contact

Name: Mr. Phil McAlister
Title: Commercial Crew Study Chair
Phone: 000-000-0000
Fax: 202-358-2886
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