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Notice Date
Notice Type
Sources Sought
541712 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)
Contracting Office
NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 144, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton,VA 23681-0001
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Response Due
Archive Date
Point of Contact
Liliana J Richwine, Contract Specialist/Contracting Officer, Phone 757-864-2478, Fax 757-864-7709, />
E-Mail Address
Small Business Set-Aside
This is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley ResearchCenter (LaRC) Request For Information (RFI). It is emphasized that the requestedinformation is for preliminary planning purposes only and does not constitute acommitment, implied or otherwise, that NASA will solicit for such procurement in thefuture. White papers in response to this notice will also verify reasonableness andfeasibility of future requirements and promote competition. The Government is notresponsible for any costs incurred in furnishing this information. Respondents will notbe notified of the results of any government assessments.All information obtained as a result of this RFI is intended to be used by the Governmentfor program planning and acquisition strategy development. As stipulated in FAR15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted bythe Government to form a binding contract. If a solicitation is released in the future,it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. NASA is developing a proposal for the upcoming New Frontiers Program Announcement ofOpportunity. The proposed mission aims to deliver an atmospheric probe to Venus. A keycomponent to the success of the mission is the parachute subsystem. It is desired thatthis subsystem have a strong heritage connection to the successful Pioneer Venus missionof the late 70s with material substitutions as appropriate (e.g. the use of Kevlarrather than Dacron). The subsystem will consist of two basic groupings of components: amortar deployed pilot parachute for back shell separation and main parachute deployment;and a main parachute for heat shield separation and speed control. Back shell separationis to be initiated at 64.3 km altitude via firing of the mortar cartridge and deploymentof the ~0.75m ribless guide surface pilot parachute. Deployment will occur at a MachNumber of 0.8 and the entry vehicle mass (back shell, probe, and heat shield) is 465 kg. A bridle assembly attached to the interior of the back shell in turn will extract themain parachute pack, strip the main parachute bag, and allow the ~5.0m conical ribbonmain parachute to inflate. The mass of the probe is 335 kg and heat shield is 121 kg. The heat shield will be jettisoned approximately 5 seconds after main parachutedeployment. The main parachute will be jettisoned after 45 minutes at an altitude of28.4 km.Requirements for the development of the parachute subsystem may include the following: 1. Sufficient ground testing to establish the function and reliability of the mortardeployment assembly. 2. Ground and flight testing to validate the strength and performance of the pilot andmain parachutes. 3. Appropriate flight tests to establish the function and reliability of the completeparachute subsystem (from mortar firing to post heat shield separation in one test) atrelevant conditions (Mach=0.8 and equivalent deployment initiation density). 4. Appropriate documentation of the parachute subsystem including stress reports,performance reports, and mechanical interface engineering reports. 5. It is anticipated that the requirements will include delivery of one flight readyunit to NASA for vehicle integration no earlier than September 1, 2015. RFI Requirements and Preparation of White Paper responses. Interested parties shouldrespond with the following information: 1. General Description a. Physically describe the subsystem including mass and volume. b. Describe subsystem operation (e.g., how the subsystem is packaged and deployed). 2. Flight or Technology Heritage/Qualification a. Describe company relevant experience to include experience with drag devices in thesize range described above.b. Briefly describe any other issues or considerations that the Government should beaware of for employment of a drag device in this application. 3. Test and Inspection Program a. Describe the type of tests and number of each envisioned to develop and qualify thecomplete parachute subsystem b. Provide information which describes existing manufacturing, inspection and test, andacceptance plans to control this type of work, and list any current InternationalStandards Organization (ISO) certifications or equivalent. 4. Costs a. Provide Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) costs to deliver flight devices broken out at aminimum in the following categories: design, testing, and flight unitfabrication/delivery. b. Provide assumptions used in development of ROM costs.5. Delivery a. Provide an estimated delivery timeframe.b. What are the major risks to meeting the delivery - how can they be overcome? 6. Experiencea. Interested parties must have experience with mortar-deployed parachute systems and thedevelopment and fabrication of parachute systems for planetary exploration missions.Responses are requested by 4:30 pm. EST by January 15, 2009. Interested firms should submit white paper responses and requests for information toDavid Hahne at david.e.hahne@nasa.gov and Liliana Richwine atliliana.j.richwine@nasa.gov.If additional information is required to respond to this RFI, please contact the pointsof contact listed above. Such information may be International Traffic in ArmsRegulations (ITAR) or other controlled information, and if so determined, the informationwill not be available via the internet in accordance with NASA LaRC Internet PublishingContent Guidelines and Export Controlled Regulations. If this information is controlled,you will be required to provide evidence of registration with the Department of State,Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. You would be required to provide a copy of yourregistration letter received from the Department of State or your PM/DTC Code.Additionally, you would be required to provide the name and contact address of theEmpowered Official as defined in Part 120.25 of the International Traffic in ArmsRegulations (ITAR) (22 CFR 120-130) who is authorized to receive and assumeresponsibility for the ITAR controlled information. Limit your white paper response to 15 pages or less not including diagrams, pictures, orfigures. Existing documents that describe suitable existing products or proposed productsare acceptable as Attachments to your response; please limit the total attachment volumeto less than 30 pages. Responses that can stand on their own without further explanationare expected. However, if NASA has specific questions, please provide your contactinformation so we can contact you.Personnel from Vigyan Inc. (under LaRC contract NNL07AA00B) may also be involved inreviewing the ROM costs. Company names and identifiers will be removed from theinformation prior to providing it to Vigyan personnel.As such, to the extent that anyinformation submitted in response to this RFI is marked as or construed to be proprietaryor business-sensitive, submitters are hereby notified (a) about the potentiality thatsuch information may be disclosed to Vigyan and (b) submission of information in responseto this RFI constitutes consent to such handling and disclosure of submitted information.An ombudsman has been appointed -- See NASA Specific Note "B".The solicitation and any documents related to this procurement will be available over theInternet. These documents will reside on a World Wide Web (WWW) server, which may beaccessed using a WWW browser application. The Internet site, or URL, for the NASA/LaRCBusiness Opportunities home page ishttp://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/bizops.cgi?gr=D&pin=23 It is the offeror'sresponsibility to monitor the Internet cite for the release of the solicitation andamendments (if any). Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their owncopy of the solicitation and amendments, if any. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.
Web Link
FedBizOpps Complete View
SN01721994-W 20081221/081219215151-95839bb6255b8fc2bc8a5819b6a4d244 (fbodaily.com)
FedBizOpps Link to This Notice
(may not be valid after Archive Date)

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