NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has added three new spacecraft busses and three new spacecraft vendors to its Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition Contract that provides multiple contracts for satellite core-systems to support NASA’s space science, earth science and technology needs.

NASA’s Rapid II contract has been modified to add three more spacecraft from two vendors currently under the Rapid II Contract. Contracts will be awarded to the following contractors:

  • Spectrum-Astro, Gilbert, Ariz. – 1 new spacecraft (SA 200B)
  • Surrey Satellite Technology, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom – 2 new spacecraft (MicroSat-70 and SNAP)

In addition to the new spacecraft added to the catalog from existing vendors, Goddard selected the following new company for “On-ramp” contracts, whose spacecraft bus will be added to the catalog:

  • Swales Aerospace, Beltsville, Md. – 1 new spacecraft (EO-SB)

The Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition program, which NASA calls “Rapid II, is an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract open for use by all NASA Centers and other Government agencies furthering NASA’s Contract Consolidation Initiative.

As NASA identifies missions, the contract holders are given an opportunity to compete for providing the spacecraft. All mission-specific spacecraft are awarded under firm fixed-price delivery orders with delivery expected between 18 and 36 months after placement of the delivery order.

The placement of orders is expected to take between 30 and 90 days, reducing the lead-time from identification of a need to the placement of a contract for delivery and launch of the satellite.

Each contract has a minimum value of $50,000 and a maximum value of $1.5 billion for cumulative delivery orders, with a five-year ordering period.

The “On-ramp” is a contractual mechanism that allows NASA to accept proposals with the intention of adding additional contracts and/or modifying existing contracts to add additional core busses and options. Proposals are accepted semi-annually over the life of the five-year contract.

Five spacecraft with a value of $165 million have been procured under the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition program in the 4 years the procurement process has been in place. Under the program, the spacecraft procurement process, which used to take an average of 12 months, has been cut to an average of 30-90 days. In a number of instances, spacecraft have been ordered, built and launched in less than one year.

For more information on the RSDO program, go to: