WASHINGTON — Hedging its bets on commercial crew, NASA’s Johnson Space Center on Feb. 6 issued a formal notice of its intent to buy six more round-trip seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station in 2018.
“NASA/JSC intends to contract with Roscosmos for these services on a sole source basis for six (6) Soyuz seats and associated services for calendar year (CY) 2018 with rescue/return services extending through spring 2019,” NASA wrote in a procurement notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
“NASA needs to secure crew transportation with a known reliable provider to ensure a continued U.S. presence aboard the ISS until the sustained availability of a U.S. commercial vehicle” the notice continues. “The intent of this proposed action is to provide the Government the ability to procure these uninterrupted services until a U.S. provider demonstrates full operational capability.”
NASA is currently paying Russia about $76 million a round-trip seat to transport astronauts to the ISS through 2017 and provide return services into 2018 under a deal signed last April. NASA is counting on Boeing and SpaceX crew capsules now in development to be ready to start ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS by the end of 2017, ending the U.S. space agency’s dependence on Russia.
But in releasing its 2016 budget proposal Feb. 2, NASA officials said that timetable depends on Congress fully funding its $1.2 billion commercial crew request, which represents an increase of more than 50 percent from the $805 million Congress approved for 2015.
Here’s the full notice:
PROCUREMENT OF CREW TRANSPORTATION AND RESCUE SERVICES FROM ROSCOSMOS
- Synopsis – Feb 06, 2015
- General Information
Solicitation Number: NNJ15539678L Posted Date: Feb 06, 2015 FedBizOpps Posted Date: Feb 06, 2015 Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No Original Response Date: Feb 13, 2015 Current Response Date: Feb 20, 2015 Classification Code: 18 — Space vehicles NAICS Code: 336414
- Contracting Office Address
- NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, 77058-3696, Mail Code: BG
- NASA/JSC has a requirement for crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station (ISS). These services include launch, return, and rescue of U.S. or U.S.-designated astronauts and associated services, which include but are not limited to the following requirements for primary and ancillary services:• Training and training materials for the safe operation of the vehicle including necessary unique equipment and supplies • Astronaut and NASA designated support personnel access to the launch site with services to include launch operations and ascent control • Flight control operations, rendezvous and on-orbit docking services • On-orbit consumables, life support systems, and habitability services necessary during operations independent of the ISS • Search and rescue services, recovery at landing site, medical operations, NASA designated personnel access to the landing site and return transportation of the crew to the NASA delegation • On-orbit rescue services for the duration of the increment • Rehabilitation post-flight, medical exams and services (on a contingency basis) • Associated crew cargo upmass commensurate with seat(s) purchased • Associated crew cargo returned commensurate with seat(s) purchasedNASA/JSC intends to contract with Roscosmos for these services on a sole source basis for six (6) Soyuz seats and associated services for calendar year (CY) 2018 with rescue/return services extending through spring 2019. NASA needs to secure crew transportation with a known reliable provider to ensure a continued U.S. presence aboard the ISS until the sustained availability of a U.S. commercial vehicle. The intent of this proposed action is to provide the Government the ability to procure these uninterrupted services until a U.S. provider demonstrates full operational capability.NASA has established a goal to ensure there are U.S. domestic space transportation vehicle(s) capable of traveling to low Earth orbit and has awarded contracts with two U.S. commercial entities for future U.S. commercial space flights. Commercial crew vehicle development is in the early stages and the first U.S. commercial crewed flight test is currently projected to occur in late CY 2017. Given the current maturity level of the commercial vehicles and the 3-year procurement lead time for Soyuz crew transportation services, NASA must contract for Soyuz now in order to assure uninterrupted access to ISS in CY 2018.[spacenews-ad]Until the U.S. commercial vehicles are successfully demonstrated and meet the acceptance criteria established by NASA, continued access to Russian crew launch, return, and rescue services is essential for planned ISS operations and utilization by all ISS partners.However, once it is determined that US Commercial entities are able to fulfill increment crew transportation requirements, the US Commercial vehicles will become NASA’s primary transportation source to ISS. The Soyuz vehicles procured under this action may then be utilized as a backup transportation option to ensure proper launch cadence or to augment future ISS operations and research.
The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.
Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. local time on February 20, 2015. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government.
Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.
All responsible sources may submit an offer, which shall be considered by the agency.
NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The Center Ombudsman for this acquisition can be found at http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/pub/pub_library/Omb.html .
- Point of Contact
Name: Yaranet G. Maquez Title: Contracting Officer Phone: 281-244-8562 Fax: 281-483-2370 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Lauren N. Johnson Title: Contracting Officer Phone: 281-483-2780 Fax: 281-244-2370 Email: email@example.com