Author Topic: NASA Releases Draft RFP for CCtCap (i.e., Phase 2 of Certification)  (Read 77810 times)

Offline yg1968

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NASA Releases Draft RFP for CCtCap (i.e., Phase 2 of Certification):
http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/sol.cgi?acqid=157250#Draft%20Documen
http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/page.cfm?ID=29

The first document contains a good summary.
« Last Edit: 09/23/2014 02:22 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Some paragraphs of interest from the first document:

Quote from: page 8 of the first PDF document
Government Property

The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016.

Based on this, there will no test flight to the ISS prior to February 2016.

Quote from: page 9 of the first PDF document
Commercial Passenger(s) and Cargo Requests

Clause H.23 of the dRFP enables the Contractor to propose to manifest Commercial Passengers, cargo or payloads on PCMs for contract price adjustment(s) or other contract consideration. The timing and NASA approval process are provided. (See RFP Clause H.23)

Spaceflight participants could be allowed on post-certification missions.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 12:24 AM by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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Thanks yg1968!  Attached zip contains all of the files (except xls) as pdf.  (The package is a bunch of word/excel attachments embedded in a pdf.  Go figure.)

The primary info is in "NNK14467515R - CCtCap - dRFP.pdf".
edit: oops, sorry wrong zip; corrected.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 11:14 PM by joek »

Offline yg1968

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Also of interest from the first document:

Quote from: page 4 of the first PDF document
The Firm Fixed Price (FFP) FAR Part 15 contract will include four (4) separate Contract Line Items (CLINs):

- CLIN 001 – DDTE/Certification (core contract): The purpose of this CLIN is to complete DDTE activities and certify the Contractor’s CTS to NASA’s requirements for safely transporting NASA crew to the ISS.

- CLIN 002 – Post Certification Missions [PCMs] (IDIQ): The purpose of this CLIN is to perform PCMs to the ISS.

- CLIN 003 – Special Studies (IDIQ): The purpose of this CLIN is to perform special studies, tests and analyses, as needed by NASA to perform risk reduction-type activities. These tasks do not include any work necessary to accomplish the requirements under CLIN 001, CLIN 002, and CLIN 004.

- CLIN 004 – Cargo in Excess of Requirements (if proposed): The purpose of this CLIN is to allow the Contractor to provide cargo in addition to the minimum requirements in CCT-REQ-1130 to meet NASA needs. These may be ordered in conjunction with Post Certification Missions, CLIN 002 or flight tests in CLIN 001. This is not intended to be a replacement for existing cargo services, but permits NASA to establish an understanding of the full capacity of proposed CTSs and associated pricing.

CLIN 004 could allow cargo test flights.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 12:25 AM by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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Synopsis of additional key points from the draft RFP:

B.3 Design, Development, Test and Evaluation (DDTE)/Certification (Core Contract) (CLIN 001)
All certification work is FFP with milestone-based payments (offeror provided, per attachment J-03) with the exception of "special studies" (CLIN 003)
Quote
NASA Certification under CLIN 001 is complete when the Contractor’s CTS has met NASA’s requirements for safely transporting crew to ISS.  CLINS 001A through 001G are mandatory milestones that represent completion of required work necessary to achieve NASA Certification.  The Government specified acceptance criteria for each Certification Milestone Review is provided in Appendix A, Milestone Acceptance Criteria and Payment Schedule to Attachment J-03, Contract Performance Work Statement (PWS).

B.4 POST CERTIFICATION MISSIONS (IDIQ) (CLIN 002)
NASA is asking for FFP for post-certification flights (pricing per mission, not per seat).
Quote
In accordance with Attachment J-03, Contract Performance Work Statement, the task ordering procedures and other terms and conditions in the contract, the Contractor shall be required to perform Post Certification Missions task orders written by the Contracting Officer.  The Contractor shall use the Mission pricing rates shown in Table B.4.1, Post Certification Mission Prices.  These mission prices are based on the CY (calendar year) the launch is scheduled to occur.  The minimum quantity of missions guaranteed to be ordered under this contract is two (2).  Missions ordered for the minimum guaranteed quantity will not be authorized prior to accomplishment of the criteria shown in clause H.19, Post Certification Mission Payments, Milestones and ATP Criteria, paragraph (a). 

If the Government orders a second mission within 12 months of a previously ordered mission, the contractor shall use the Mission pricing rates shown in right hand column of Table B.4.1, Post Certification Mission Prices. 

The maximum potential number of Post Certification Missions which may be ordered under this contract is six (6).  If multiple awards are made, the maximum number of all PCMs awarded under all contracts when combined will not exceed six.  The maximum potential total value of all Post Certification Mission Task Orders which may be ordered under this contract is six (6) missions.   

B.6 CARGO CAPABILITY IN EXCESS OF REQUIREMENTS (IDIQ) (CLIN 004)
NASA is also asking for up- and down-cargo rates for post-certification flights.
Quote
When ordered by the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall provide cargo in excess of requirements in accordance with Attachment J-03, Contract Performance Work Statement, and other terms and conditions in the contract.  Cargo in excess of requirements may be ordered in conjunction with Post Certification Missions, CLIN 002 or applicable segments such as test flights in CLIN 001.  Cargo authorized under this clause for CLIN 001 will result in an increase to the CLIN 001 FFP in this contract.  Cargo authorized under this clause for CLIN 002 will be reflected in the CLIN 002 task order FFP.

Interestingly, the tables for those CLIN's show CY2015-2020 (maybe a bit optimistic?).

Offline yg1968

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Other paragraphs of interest from the more detailed (attached) 159 page document:

Quote from: page 8 of the PDF
The maximum potential number of Post Certification Missions which may be ordered under this contract is six (6). If multiple awards are made, the maximum number of all PCMs awarded under all contracts when combined will not exceed six. The maximum potential total value of all Post Certification Mission Task Orders which may be ordered under this contract is six (6) missions.

Quote from: page 37 of the PDF
H.8 POST CERTIFICATION MISSION TASK ORDERING PROCEDURES (APPLICABLE TO CLIN 002 and CLIN 004)
(a) Requirements for Competition.
In the event that two (2) or more commercial crew transportation contracts are awarded, a fair opportunity to be considered for task orders issued under this contract based upon the specific task order requirements will be provided, unless the Contracting Officer determines that one of the following apply:
(1) The Agency need is of such urgency that competing the requirements among Contractors would result in unacceptable delays;
(2) Only one Contractor is capable of providing the service at the level of quality required because the service ordered is unique or highly specialized;
(3) The order must be issued on a sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to an order issued under the contract, provided that all Contractors were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order; or
(4) It is necessary to place an order to satisfy the minimum guarantee per clause B.4, Post Certification Missions (IDIQ) (CLIN 002).
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 12:30 AM by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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My read of this is that it is about as good as it gets...

1. Certification work will be firm fixed price (FFP) with milestone payments.  While high level milestones have been defined by NASA (contract line items or CLIN 001), the details are left to the offeror.  Very similar to SAA's for CCDev and CCiCap.*

2. The risk of providers low-balling entry and hiking prices later is mitigated by NASA requiring post-certification FFP mission pricing.  NASA has required the providers to commit to FFP for follow-on (post-certification) missions.

3. If there is significant synergy/savings from combined cargo and crew, then providers may leverage those and get some points (especially given that these will be post-CRS missions).


* However, this will work only if NASA's requirements are also reasonably well firm and fixed at the time of contract award.  That may be a bone of contention.  Anyone want to venture a guess as to how firm NASA's requirements are at this point?

Offline manboy

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Thanks yg1968!  Attached zip contains all of the files (except xls) as pdf.  (The package is a bunch of word/excel attachments embedded in a pdf.  Go figure.)

The primary info is in "NNK14467515R - CCtCap - dRFP.pdf".
edit: oops, sorry wrong zip; corrected.
$14 million for a docking mechanism seems incredibly high, especially when you think about how Russia throws away eight per year. I wonder how much those costs can be reduced if the providers choose to manufacture their own.


Quote from: 157250-DRAFT-001-001
Government Property
The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016. Within the proposal, the Offeror shall describe their approach to enable docking with the ISS. The options include the following:
      1. Government will provide NDS flight hardware units (limited to the noted four) as
Government Furnished Property.
       2. Government will provide NDS Engineering as Government Furnished Data for Industry
to build NDS. The preliminary build-to-print package available in November, 2014 and final build-to-print package available by June, 2016.”
        3. Contractor designs and builds unique docking system that is compatible with SSP 50808
requirements. The Government furnishes no hardware, data, or services.
(See dRFP Clauses G.4, G.5, G.6, G.7, H.14; Provisions L.20-1-TA01, and M.2-TA01)
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 01:31 AM by manboy »
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Offline yg1968

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My read of this is that it is about as good as it gets...

1. Certification work will be firm fixed price (FFP) with milestone payments.  While high level milestones have been defined by NASA (contract line items or CLIN 001), the details are left to the offeror.  Very similar to SAA's for CCDev and CCiCap.*

2. The risk of providers low-balling entry and hiking prices later is mitigated by NASA requiring post-certification FFP mission pricing.  NASA has required the providers to commit to FFP for follow-on (post-certification) missions.

3. If there is significant synergy/savings from combined cargo and crew, then providers may leverage those and get some points (especially given that these will be post-CRS missions).


* However, this will work only if NASA's requirements are also reasonably well firm and fixed at the time of contract award.  That may be a bone of contention.  Anyone want to venture a guess as to how firm NASA's requirements are at this point?

It was explained a few months ago that the reason for adding post-certification flights is because NASA intends to have two CCtCap companies. Given that a downselect to one will likely be done for the crew transportation services contract, the post-certification flights are a way to provide incentives to the second place company (sort of a consolation prize). They may end up being offered to both companies but they are really there in order to maintain competition as long as possible by providing incentives to the runner-up.

I think that the cargo flights are just there either as potential unmanned test flights or they can also be offered as part of a post certification flight. Their objective is either to provide a useful unmanned test flight or to provide incentives to the second place company.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 01:35 AM by yg1968 »

Offline JBF

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14-16m for one side of a docking collar.  Is it me or does that seem really high priced?
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Offline joek

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It was explained a few months ago that the reason for adding post-certification flights is because NASA intends to have two CCtCap companies. Given that a downselect to one will likely be done for the crew transportation services contract, the post-certification flights are a way to provide incentives to the second place company (sort of a consolation prize). They may end up being offered to both companies but they are really there in order to maintain competition as long as possible by providing incentives to the runner-up.
How so? This CCtCap suggests otherwise.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 02:22 AM by joek »

Offline yg1968

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It was explained a few months ago that the reason for adding post-certification flights is because NASA intends to have two CCtCap companies. Given that a downselect to one will likely be done for the crew transportation services contract, the post-certification flights are a way to provide incentives to the second place company (sort of a consolation prize). They may end up being offered to both companies but they are really there in order to maintain competition as long as possible by providing incentives to the runner-up.
How so? This CCtCap suggests otherwise.

I am not sure that I understand your question. NASA has said that it wants to maintain competition as long as possible and believes that adding post-certification flights during CCtCap is a way to achieve this.

On the reasoning for post-certification flights, here is how NASA explained it last January:

Quote
The anticipated contract for Phase 2 Certification may include at least one post-certification ISS mission.  Question 3 (Section 3.3 below) discusses this topic in greater detail.

NASA has several strategic objectives in developing the Phase 2 Certification procurement strategy.  NASA desires to maximize competition and to find ways to incentivize industry’s financial contribution in the CTS development with a goal of achieving a certified CTS no later than 2017.  NASA also desires to minimize cost, both for this contract and throughout the operational lifetime of the CTS.

http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/154692-OTHER-001-001.docx

See also:

Quote
RFI-Questions and Answers 1

Question 1

Regarding the intent of question 3. Is NASA asking if industry, for some commercial reason, want to have additional post-certification flights during phase 2? Or is NASA suggesting we should actively plan for and justify 1 (or 2 or 3) such missions as a desire of NASA?

Answer:

Certification may include one or more test flights that lead to certification of the commercial transportation system being proposed. NASA assumes that such flights will be proposed as part of the phase 2 contract. Additionally NASA is considering including post-certification missions under the Phase 2 contract, separate from the intended future ISS Services contract. These missions would be the first manned flights of the new Crew Transportation System after NASA certification. They can be considered as transitional missions that fulfill NASA definition of a full servicing mission, per CCT-DRM-1110. Alternatively, these mission(s) may fulfill needs short of those defined in 1110, but provide benefits to both NASA and the commercial provider.

NASA is not suggesting any additional activity or planning on the part of potential bidders. However, since NASA is considering the potential of including at least one additional post-certification mission in phase 2, NASA is seeking input from industry on the number of missions to best achieve both the contractor financial goals and the programmatic goal for minimizing overall program costs, as well as incentivize industry financial contribution in the CTS.

While NASA is constrained by annual and overall budget limitations, NASA desires to consider industry concepts such as quantity/price curves, learning curves, lot purchase discounts and rates of return that allow you to close your business case. This input from industry will aid us as we determine if we should include post-certification ISS missions within the scope of the phase 2 contract and if so, how many and how (in the base or as options or combination).

http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/154692-OTHER-002-001.pdf

See also this presentation from last April:
http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/155325-OTHER-001-001.pdf
« Last Edit: 07/24/2013 07:05 PM by yg1968 »

Offline GBpatsfan

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Why would ACORN be in the acronym list for a NASA dRFP?  ??? ??? ???

Online docmordrid

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14-16m for one side of a docking collar.  Is it me or does that seem really high priced?

An incentive to build their own after the initial sample?
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Offline PreferToLurk

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Why would ACORN be in the acronym list for a NASA dRFP?  ??? ??? ???

Because all federal contracts must explicitly prohibit ACORN from receiving any money. This one is no different.  See page 114 of the dRFP for the clause.   ::)

Offline joek

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It was explained a few months ago that the reason for adding post-certification flights is because NASA intends to have two CCtCap companies. Given that a downselect to one will likely be done for the crew transportation services contract, the post-certification flights are a way to provide incentives to the second place company (sort of a consolation prize). They may end up being offered to both companies but they are really there in order to maintain competition as long as possible by providing incentives to the runner-up.
How so? This CCtCap suggests otherwise.
I am not sure that I understand your question. NASA has said that it wants to maintain competition as long as possible and believes that adding post-certification flights during CCtCap is a way to achieve this.

Each CCtCap awardee is guaranteed a minimum of two post-certification missions, with a maximum of six among all  awardees.  E.g., if there are three awards each will get two post-certification missions; if there is one award they could get up to six post-certification missions.  Those appear to be more an incentive for providers to put more skin in the game during the certification process as well as preventing artificial low-ball entry pricing.  It also allows NASA to lock in mission pricing at the time of the CCtCap award(s) for several years if desired, which makes a lot of sense.

Offline john smith 19

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Quote from: page 8 of the first PDF document
Government Property

The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016.

Based on this, there will no test flight to the ISS prior to February 2016.
True, odd that. So even if Spacex are ready they won't be able to, unless they build their own and have it certified.

Quote
Quote from: page 9 of the first PDF document
Commercial Passenger(s) and Cargo Requests

Clause H.23 of the dRFP enables the Contractor to propose to manifest Commercial Passengers, cargo or payloads on PCMs for contract price adjustment(s) or other contract consideration. The timing and NASA approval process are provided. (See RFP Clause H.23)

Spaceflight participants could be allowed on post-certification missions.
Intriguing.

I think there is one sting in the tale that may cause trouble. Competitors have to get $500m of 3rd party insurance in case there are claims for damages.

I wonder how difficult it will be to get that kind of coverage at a reasonable price?
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Offline john smith 19

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$14 million for a docking mechanism seems incredibly high, especially when you think about how Russia throws away eight per year. I wonder how much those costs can be reduced if the providers choose to manufacture their own.


Quote from: 157250-DRAFT-001-001
Government Property
The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016. Within the proposal, the Offeror shall describe their approach to enable docking with the ISS. The options include the following:
      1. Government will provide NDS flight hardware units (limited to the noted four) as
Government Furnished Property.
       2. Government will provide NDS Engineering as Government Furnished Data for Industry
to build NDS. The preliminary build-to-print package available in November, 2014 and final build-to-print package available by June, 2016.”
        3. Contractor designs and builds unique docking system that is compatible with SSP 50808
requirements. The Government furnishes no hardware, data, or services.
(See dRFP Clauses G.4, G.5, G.6, G.7, H.14; Provisions L.20-1-TA01, and M.2-TA01)
Intriguing. $14m does sound pretty steep, even given this is fairly complex. However note they can build their own. But note the timing. If you were to start building on the preliminary data package you could still have a vehicle ready to go by late 2015. But if there are serious revisions in the 2016 packet you're back to square one.

You could surmise someone really doesn't want Spacex to be ready years before 2017 for some reason. But I'll leave that thought for another thread.

BTW open question. What vehicles are currently docking or berthing to ISS with NDS? It looks like CCiCAP are the test pilots (literally) for this technology.



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Offline guckyfan

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Intriguing. $14m does sound pretty steep, even given this is fairly complex. However note they can build their own. But note the timing. If you were to start building on the preliminary data package you could still have a vehicle ready to go by late 2015. But if there are serious revisions in the 2016 packet you're back to square one.

My understanding was that the docking adapters are given free to the company. They cannot build cheaper than free. But for commercial flights to non ISS stations in the future they will consider that option.

You could surmise someone really doesn't want Spacex to be ready years before 2017 for some reason. But I'll leave that thought for another thread.


No comment.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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{snip}

BTW open question. What vehicles are currently docking or berthing to ISS with NDS? It looks like CCiCAP are the test pilots (literally) for this technology.

None.  Currently the ISS does not have a NDS.

Until a NDS is fitted to the ISS SpaceX would have to berth its manned Dragon using a CBM.

Offline Lars_J

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... And the NDS adapters (two eventually?) will be delivered by Dragon or HTV. So the arrival of that adapter also places an early constraint on ISS crew missions.

(But that is very unlikely to be the long pole)

Offline Lurker Steve

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{snip}

BTW open question. What vehicles are currently docking or berthing to ISS with NDS? It looks like CCiCAP are the test pilots (literally) for this technology.

None.  Currently the ISS does not have a NDS.

Until a NDS is fitted to the ISS SpaceX would have to berth its manned Dragon using a CBM.

I doubt most commercial crew vehicles would have a grapple fixture to allow them to be captured by the SSRMS and then berthed to a CBM port. Besides, the actual docking (and NOT berthing) must be a certification milestone I would assume.


Offline Space Pete

I doubt most commercial crew vehicles would have a grapple fixture to allow them to be captured by the SSRMS and then berthed to a CBM port. Besides, the actual docking (and NOT berthing) must be a certification milestone I would assume.

That is all moot anyway, because NASA will never allow crew vehicles to use a CBM, because it is impossible to meet the emergency lifeboat requirements using a CBM.

Analysis shows that should a debris strike occur on the ISS, all modules would lose pressure within three minutes. That means any lifeboat must be able to be undocked in less than that time. With NDS, that would be a simple case of closing the hatch, and hitting the undock button. No cables to disconnect at all, because they are all made automatically via the docking interface.

With CBM however, you would first have to disconnect multiple cables and ventilation ducts, then connect four CPAs (Controller Panel Assembles - basically computers to control the CBM berthing/unberthing), and only then could you close the hatches. However, you still could not simply hit undock, because first the vehicle would need to be grappled by the SSRMS, then all 16 CBM bolts would need to be released (in four sets of four), and then the SSRMS would need to maneuver the vehicle away from the ISS and release it.

And, don't forget, the SSRMS could not be controlled from inside the ISS as all the crewmembers would be inside their escape vehicles, so the ground would need to control it. And, bear in mind that air escaping through a hole in the ISS is basically a thruster, and so any MMOD strike could well cause a loss of attitude control and resulting tumble, breaking antenna lock with the ground and preventing any SSRMS control. But, setting those issues aside for a minute, the entire procedure to escape from the ISS via a CBM vehicle, would, even when rushed through at lightning pace, likely be measured in hours - way too long for a station that would depressurise in three minutes.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2013 04:38 PM by Space Pete »
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Offline Robotbeat

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... And the NDS adapters (two eventually?) will be delivered by Dragon or HTV. So the arrival of that adapter also places an early constraint on ISS crew missions.

(But that is very unlikely to be the long pole)
Maybe unlikely, but it seems the design isn't even finished! Correct me if I'm wrong. They just changed to a Boeing design not too long ago. Also, the capsule needs the docking adapter delivered as govt-furnished equipment, already tested. (Either that, or the design needs to be finalized so the companies can make their own and test them with the finalized docking port on the ground.)
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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I doubt most commercial crew vehicles would have a grapple fixture to allow them to be captured by the SSRMS and then berthed to a CBM port. Besides, the actual docking (and NOT berthing) must be a certification milestone I would assume.

That is all moot anyway, because NASA will never allow crew vehicles to use a CBM, because it is impossible to meet the emergency lifeboat requirements using a CBM.
{snip}

The cargo Dragon already has a grapple fixture so putting one on a hybrid capsule would not be difficult.

A CBM crew vehicle may not be able to act as a lifeboat but that restriction may be ignored depending on how desperate NASA is to send people to the ISS.  I suspect that they would only waive the requirement for 2 or 3 berthings whilst the docking system was sorted out.

Offline yg1968

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Quote from: page 8 of the first PDF document
Government Property

The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016.

Based on this, there will no test flight to the ISS prior to February 2016.
True, odd that. So even if Spacex are ready they won't be able to, unless they build their own and have it certified.

Bear in mind that SpaceX' first manned mission was in late 2015 under the CCiCap optional milestones (assuming that there was sufficient funding for it). It's possible that the first crewed test flight will not go to the ISS.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2013 06:33 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Lars_J

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I doubt most commercial crew vehicles would have a grapple fixture to allow them to be captured by the SSRMS and then berthed to a CBM port. Besides, the actual docking (and NOT berthing) must be a certification milestone I would assume.

That is all moot anyway, because NASA will never allow crew vehicles to use a CBM, because it is impossible to meet the emergency lifeboat requirements using a CBM.
{snip}

The cargo Dragon already has a grapple fixture so putting one on a hybrid capsule would not be difficult.

A CBM crew vehicle may not be able to act as a lifeboat but that restriction may be ignored depending on how desperate NASA is to send people to the ISS.  I suspect that they would only waive the requirement for 2 or 3 berthings whilst the docking system was sorted out.

Just stop it... A crewed vehicle berthing to ISS with CBM isn't going to happen.

If NASA are truly desperate, there is a much easier solution. Outfit the crew vehicle with APAS docking adapters, since there are already two PMA's up there with APAS. It would add cost and complexity, but would be far simpler and safer than CBM berthing.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2013 06:33 PM by Lars_J »

Offline yg1968

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I doubt most commercial crew vehicles would have a grapple fixture to allow them to be captured by the SSRMS and then berthed to a CBM port. Besides, the actual docking (and NOT berthing) must be a certification milestone I would assume.

That is all moot anyway, because NASA will never allow crew vehicles to use a CBM, because it is impossible to meet the emergency lifeboat requirements using a CBM.
{snip}

The cargo Dragon already has a grapple fixture so putting one on a hybrid capsule would not be difficult.

A CBM crew vehicle may not be able to act as a lifeboat but that restriction may be ignored depending on how desperate NASA is to send people to the ISS.  I suspect that they would only waive the requirement for 2 or 3 berthings whilst the docking system was sorted out.

Just stop it... A crewed vehicle berthing to ISS with CBM isn't going to happen.

If NASA are truly desperate, there is a much easier solution. Outfit the crew vehicle with APAS docking adapters, since there are already two PMA's up there with APAS. It would add cost and complexity, but would be far simpler and safer than CBM berthing.

Both scenarios are unlikely. A crewed test flight doesn't have to go to the ISS.

Offline Space Pete

Just FYI, the first IDA (ISS Docking Adapter) will arrive at the ISS on SpX-7 on April 4 2015, and will be installed the same month - so the notion that IDA arrival is preventing crewed flights from arriving until Feb 2016 is wrong.
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Offline yg1968

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The Feb. 2016 date comes from the NDS unit on the spacecraft. See quote in bold below:

Quote from: page 8 of the first PDF document
Government Property

The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2013 06:51 PM by yg1968 »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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To permit docking to the ISS using NDS both the ISS and the visiting spaceship need equipping with NDS hardware.  So the earliest docking date is the later of the two dates, also both can slip.

Offline apace

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Any word about which NDS is used now? The original one or the Boeing provided one?

Offline manboy

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{snip}

BTW open question. What vehicles are currently docking or berthing to ISS with NDS? It looks like CCiCAP are the test pilots (literally) for this technology.
Until a NDS is fitted to the ISS SpaceX would have to berth its manned Dragon using a CBM.
Never going to happen. The CBM requires the Canadarm to unberth which adds a long list of additional risks to ISS decrew scenarios.

... And the NDS adapters (two eventually?) will be delivered by Dragon or HTV. So the arrival of that adapter also places an early constraint on ISS crew missions.

(But that is very unlikely to be the long pole)
Maybe unlikely, but it seems the design isn't even finished! Correct me if I'm wrong. They just changed to a Boeing design not too long ago.
Last November.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2013 07:26 PM by manboy »
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Offline Space Pete

Any word about which NDS is used now? The original one or the Boeing provided one?

Boeing's narrow-ring SIMAC system will now be used for NDS. The original system (iLIDS) has been cancelled.
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Offline manboy

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Just FYI, the first IDA (ISS Docking Adapter) will arrive at the ISS on SpX-7 on April 4 2015, and will be installed the same month - so the notion that IDA arrival is preventing crewed flights from arriving until Feb 2016 is wrong.
Can you link the L2 documents? I've haven't been able to find any new info on NDS since that Aviation Week article back in December.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2013 07:32 PM by manboy »
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Offline Space Pete

Can you link the L2 documents? I've haven't been able to find any new info on NDS since that Aviation Week article back in December.

See the latest FPIP chart on L2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32306

(I'll be doing an article detailing the noteworthy info in this FPIP chart later this week.)
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Offline manboy

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Can you link the L2 documents? I've haven't been able to find any new info on NDS since that Aviation Week article back in December.

See the latest FPIP chart on L2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32306

(I'll be doing an article detailing the noteworthy info in this FPIP chart later this week.)
Thanks.  :)
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Online rcoppola

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It would be interesting if SpaceX could use a crewed Dragon variant for the Feb 2015 CRS delivery of the new docking mech. Which I would think would be put in the trunk anyways. Of course this would limit pressurized cargo but...I doubt it and it seems crewed Dragon wouldn't be ready anyway.

I'm just thinking of ways SpaceX could approach this draft by offering milestone and/or certification efficiencies.

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Offline A_M_Swallow

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It would be interesting if SpaceX could use a crewed Dragon variant for the Feb 2015 CRS delivery of the new docking mech. Which I would think would be put in the trunk anyways. Of course this would limit pressurized cargo but...I doubt it and it seems crewed Dragon wouldn't be ready anyway.

I'm just thinking of ways SpaceX could approach this draft by offering milestone and/or certification efficiencies.

Yes, that would be fun since NASA would have to use the arm to berth the Dragon to a CBM.

Offline joek

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My understanding was that the docking adapters are given free to the company. They cannot build cheaper than free. But for commercial flights to non ISS stations in the future they will consider that option.

There is no out-of-pocket expense, but the cost is added for proposal price evaluation:
Quote from: Section M.3 Price Factor (page 160)
When an Offeror, as part of its proposal, intends to use the Government property identified in Clause G.6, NFS 1852.245-76, List of Government Property Furnished, the total evaluated price will be increased by the value of said Government property and any other Government furnished property requested by the Offeror to assure the integrity of the competitive process.

Offline manboy

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It would be interesting if SpaceX could use a crewed Dragon variant for the Feb 2015 CRS delivery of the new docking mech.
That's how ATLAS was going to be installed.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/nasa-develops-new-docking-system-for-constellation-220598/
« Last Edit: 07/25/2013 04:00 AM by manboy »
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Offline Wayne Hale

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

Offline BrightLight

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?
This could be a recognition that all three vendors have offered similar safety and performance capabilities and that in the end, cost is the factor that will determine viability of the winning integrated system.

Offline MP99

To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

This could be a recognition that all three vendors have offered similar safety and performance capabilities and that in the end, cost is the factor that will determine viability of the winning integrated system.

In that case, safety could still be the largest factor, they'd draw on that, and the lower factors would decide it.

cheers, Martin

Offline muomega0

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?
This could be a recognition that all three vendors have offered similar safety and performance capabilities and that in the end, cost is the factor that will determine viability of the winning integrated system.
My first thought was Cost Benefit Analysis-- "Weighing the risks and benefits is sometimes a confusing, and complicated, process, and is not just a monetary or financial decision".  Well, that doesn't sound too good:  how do engineers/companies know when those risks outweigh the possible benefits gained from the design choices then?

Returning to the requirements:
e) the top safety, technical, cost and schedule risks are identified, assessed, and clearly communicated.
 1) Crew Survival capability clearly demonstrates how results of the assessment will be factored into the design
 2) The PSA has been documented, and major risks to crew safety and mission success have been identified, quantified, and integrated in a PSA
 3) Risk mitigation strategies associated with CTS design baseline, cost and schedule have been identified and agreed upon by NASA.


Ah much better, all the "top" risk mitigation strategies will be identified and agreed upon by NASA.  So what about the unknown unknowns? 

What is the value of a human life being used in this CBA?

Offline Lee Jay

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Analysis shows that should a debris strike occur on the ISS, all modules would lose pressure within three minutes. That means any lifeboat must be able to be undocked in less than that time. With NDS, that would be a simple case of closing the hatch, and hitting the undock button.

Do you even need to hit the undock button?  Isn't closing the hatch enough to save everyone and then you can undock after full station depress if necessary?  I'm thinking it might be necessary to figure out how you are spinning and to get ready to pilot yourself away in a situation-appropriate way before you undock.

Offline Lee Jay

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

My first instinct would be to not score safety at all, but rather to make it a requirement to demonstrate that you will meet a required level of safety before you'd get the privilege of being scored in the other areas.

Offline zt

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

My first instinct would be to not score safety at all, but rather to make it a requirement to demonstrate that you will meet a required level of safety before you'd get the privilege of being scored in the other areas.

If someone came up with a system that was only as safe as STS (not safe enough according to NASA's current requirements) but was much cheaper to build and operate than the others, they should have the right to compete and NASA must be forced to either choose them or state that the taxpayer is going to pay X million dollars to lower chance of LOC from 2% to 0.5%, for a launch system they plan to use twice a year for ten years.

Offline MP99

That's 1:3 overall chance of LOC, I think. Edit : vs 1:10.

Cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 07/26/2013 07:57 PM by MP99 »

Offline joek

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

I read it more as NASA may trade price for contract performance risk or other non-cost factors--not necessarily safety.  (Presumably safety is addressed in the requirements which must be met in order to achieve certification.)

Per the dRFP, "The Government will use a trade-off process, as described in FAR 15.101-1, in making the source selection":
Quote from: FAR 15.101-1 Tradeoff process.
15.101-1  Tradeoff process.
(a) A tradeoff process is appropriate when it may be in the best interest of the Government to consider award to other than the lowest priced offeror or other than the highest technically rated offeror.
(b) When using a tradeoff process, the following apply:
(1) All evaluation factors and significant subfactors that will affect contract award and their relative importance shall be clearly stated in the solicitation; and
(2) The solicitation shall state whether all evaluation factors other than cost or price, when combined, are significantly more important than, approximately equal to, or significantly less important than cost or price.
(c) This process permits tradeoffs among cost or price and non-cost factors and allows the Government to accept other than the lowest priced proposal. The perceived benefits of the higher priced proposal shall merit the additional cost, and the rationale for tradeoffs must be documented in the file in accordance with 15.406.


Offline joek

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This could be a recognition that all three vendors have offered similar safety and performance capabilities and that in the end, cost is the factor that will determine viability of the winning integrated system.

Nominally agree, although I'd restate... I think it's more that all offerors are nominally capable of meeting the requirements (presumably safety included).  Without meeting requirements, they won't get certified.  Without certification, they won't fly NASA crew.  Those are table stakes.

Given that all offerors are nominally capable of achieving certification, the question is: at what price and risk?  A recurring theme in the dRFP is evaluation of the offeror's ability to perform at the proposed price, e.g.:
Quote from: Section M.3 Price Factor (pg 160)
Relatively low prices will also be evaluated to determine whether there is a risk of default in the event of award to that Offeror. If the Government determines that there is a high risk of default, such a determination may serve as the basis for non-selection.

Offline yg1968

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

My first instinct would be to not score safety at all, but rather to make it a requirement to demonstrate that you will meet a required level of safety before you'd get the privilege of being scored in the other areas.

I kind of agree with that. Grading safety can be subjective. Safety was invoked for not cancelling Ares I. ATK also tried to make it a selling point for Liberty. If NASA always selected the most experienced launcher, newer companies such as SpaceX or Blue Origin would never have a chance. If you meet NASA's requirements, you should be allowed to compete.
« Last Edit: 07/27/2013 02:01 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Quote
McAlister: the one primary risk for comm'l crew is prematurely eliminating competition. Threatens safe, reliable, cost-effective systems.

Quote
McAlister: even though next comm'l crew phase, CCtCap, will be FAR-based contact, doesn't preclude remaining in partnership with companies.

Quote
McAlister adds he hasn't seen any "significant schedule slippage" among the three CCiCap awardees, although there have been minor changes.

Quote
"It's kind of amazing, right?" - McAlister on the fact NASA does not have an approved operating plan for FY2013, which ends in 2 months.

Quote
McAlister: if FY14 appropriations falls short of request for comm'l crew, NASA would have to decide to downselect early or slip schedule.

Quote
Some NAC HEO cmte members suggesting that having comm'l crew vehicles ready in 2017 should be top-priority goal for program.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust
« Last Edit: 07/30/2013 03:35 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Quote
McAlister: not getting requested budget will slow us down. Will trade benefits of having 1-3 partners vs. '17 schedule goal.

Quote
McAlister: don't think will be able to keep three partners in next commercial crew round, but hope to have two to maintain competition.

Quote
NAC HEO's Bob Sieck: commercial crew "almost done too well" considering haven't gotten near requested budget.

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean
« Last Edit: 07/30/2013 03:34 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Lurker Steve

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The current set of CCiCap contracts extend well into next summer, which is almost the end of FY 14.

Is McAlister trying to tell us that he doesn't have funding for the milestones on the current contracts, or perhaps that he can't execute the next set of follow on contracts without additional funding ?

I can't imagine this constant whining about funding levels really helps.
If the top line of NASA's budget increases, they will get more funding. Both Republicans and Democrats want to give NASA more funding. The House Republicans just don't think it's possible to get a decent budget deal, so they went with sequestered level budget numbers.

If Congress doesn't get together by October 1st, and get a budget deal done, then it's more of the same with the continuing resolution, which is even lower budget numbers than either the House or Senate budgets.

In the mean time, I would like to see a plan for what they want to do with the increased CCiCap funding. What do we get for an additional 400-500 million per year ?? Someone must have some justification for the 850 million annual need, right ??


Offline Robotbeat

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I can't imagine that the constant whining about commercial crew is helpful, either. It's pretty obvious that with more funding, we can do things like get to flight testing much earlier.
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Offline erioladastra

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

That is exactly what I would expect if I wanted one particular company to win the next round.

Offline Robotbeat

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

That is exactly what I would expect if I wanted one particular company to win the next round.
I'm more of a SpaceX fan than a Boeing fan, but I really don't want to see an early down-select. I hope this means it will cause Boeing to lobby against early down-select.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline QuantumG

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I'm more of a SpaceX fan than a Boeing fan, but I really don't want to see an early down-select. I hope this means it will cause Boeing to lobby against early down-select.

Imagine how SpaceX would react if they got frozen out by Boeing. They'd probably fly next year just to show how wrong the decision was.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Lars_J

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Putting a high value on low cost is a very sensible thing, in the current fiscal climate. And aerospace has a long history of using the lowest bidder - quite different from NASA's recent contracting history.

But the longer they can avoid the down-select to one, the better.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2013 04:40 AM by Lars_J »

Offline yg1968

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If they are really short on money for commercial crew. Perhaps, one option for CCtCap would be to go with SpaceX and Blue Origin (with reduced funding and a stretched timeline). It will be interesting to see if Blue Origin decides to compete under CCtCap.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2013 06:01 AM by yg1968 »

Offline woods170

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I'm more of a SpaceX fan than a Boeing fan, but I really don't want to see an early down-select. I hope this means it will cause Boeing to lobby against early down-select.

Imagine how SpaceX would react if they got frozen out by Boeing. They'd probably fly next year just to show how wrong the decision was.

No, they won't. SpaceX is very good at making lot's of promises, but they have a lousy track record as to fullfilling those promises.
Even if a downselect to just one would be SpaceX I very much doubt SpaceX would be able to make the 2017 deadline.

Offline Robotbeat

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I think SpaceX could do it. If they had a splashdown and a hands-off NASA, I have no doubt they could hit 2017 for first orbital crewed flight. Actually, earlier.

The big difficulty is handling NASA's safety regulations and also the difficulty of docking with ISS.
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Offline spectre9

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SpaceX is way ahead with their capsule.

Nobody has tested their LAS yet.

Boeing is ahead with their laucher until F9 v1.1 actually launches and then they'll be behind because they still need to develop DEC.

Offline Lurker Steve

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SpaceX is way ahead with their capsule.

Nobody has tested their LAS yet.

Boeing is ahead with their laucher until F9 v1.1 actually launches and then they'll be behind because they still need to develop DEC.

We haven't seen semi-flight ready vehicles from any of the 3 competitors. Everyone is performing early testing using crude mockups. You can say that SpaceX's capsule is ahead, but don't base that on the current cargo Dragon. The new capsule is almost as different from the cargo capsule as the F9 V1.1 is from the V1.0, maybe more so.

The DEC work is being performed by ULA. I'm sure it will be done well before it's needed.

We still don't have any of the launch facilities updated to support crew either.

Offline JBF

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We haven't seen semi-flight ready vehicles from any of the 3 competitors. Everyone is performing early testing using crude mockups. You can say that SpaceX's capsule is ahead, but don't base that on the current cargo Dragon. The new capsule is almost as different from the cargo capsule as the F9 V1.1 is from the V1.0, maybe more so.

The DEC work is being performed by ULA. I'm sure it will be done well before it's needed.

We still don't have any of the launch facilities updated to support crew either.


I would disagree. The heart of the capsule is the pressure vessel, and that is the same. 80% of the reaction thrusters are the same.

"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but that’s the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

Offline Lurker Steve

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I would disagree. The heart of the capsule is the pressure vessel, and that is the same. 80% of the reaction thrusters are the same.



The pressure vessel is just 1 line item out of thousands of components.

It might not even be exactly the same, since it needs to interface to a NDS hatch instead of the CBM. Different size openings and interfaces.

And not to mention that there is all new software to validate, again...

Offline QuantumG

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Imagine how SpaceX would react if they got frozen out by Boeing. They'd probably fly next year just to show how wrong the decision was.

No, they won't. SpaceX is very good at making lot's of promises, but they have a lousy track record as to fullfilling those promises.
Even if a downselect to just one would be SpaceX I very much doubt SpaceX would be able to make the 2017 deadline.

Spite is an amazing motivator.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline baldusi

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We haven't seen semi-flight ready vehicles from any of the 3 competitors. Everyone is performing early testing using crude mockups. You can say that SpaceX's capsule is ahead, but don't base that on the current cargo Dragon. The new capsule is almost as different from the cargo capsule as the F9 V1.1 is from the V1.0, maybe more so.

The DEC work is being performed by ULA. I'm sure it will be done well before it's needed.

We still don't have any of the launch facilities updated to support crew either

I would disagree. The heart of the capsule is the pressure vessel, and that is the same. 80% of the reaction thrusters are the same.



No its not. Look at the milestones of the current contract. Pressure vessel proof and structural testing is one of the items. The new LAS puts some new structural paths that require a new design. And everything else is also improved. Their advantage is that every subsystem will be a second iteration of an already flying one. But you can't say that they have a better grasp of ISS than Boeing (they are the main ISS contractor).

Offline Lurker Steve

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Imagine how SpaceX would react if they got frozen out by Boeing. They'd probably fly next year just to show how wrong the decision was.

No, they won't. SpaceX is very good at making lot's of promises, but they have a lousy track record as to fullfilling those promises.
Even if a downselect to just one would be SpaceX I very much doubt SpaceX would be able to make the 2017 deadline.

Spite is an amazing motivator.


So is a cattle prod.

If money was the issue, then why didn't the extra money added to the COTS program get SpaceX to the ISS sooner ? Perhaps having the assured CRS contract (and the pre-payments for future flights) actually reduced the pressure on SpaceX to deliver the product on schedule.

Offline JBF

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If money was the issue, then why didn't the extra money added to the COTS program get SpaceX to the ISS sooner ? Perhaps having the assured CRS contract (and the pre-payments for future flights) actually reduced the pressure on SpaceX to deliver the product on schedule.


Wasn't the extra money used for additional sub-system testing that NASA wanted? More testing = more time.
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Offline Lurker Steve

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If money was the issue, then why didn't the extra money added to the COTS program get SpaceX to the ISS sooner ? Perhaps having the assured CRS contract (and the pre-payments for future flights) actually reduced the pressure on SpaceX to deliver the product on schedule.


Wasn't the extra money used for additional sub-system testing that NASA wanted? More testing = more time.

The extra money was used to fund new milestones that should have been included in the original plan anyway. For instance, I suppose it could have been possible to attempt the COTS 2 flight without testing the solar panels on the ground first, but would that have been a wise development decision ?

Offline erioladastra

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To move this discussion into a different direction, let me note that it is always important to see how the government is going to evaluate the various proposals. 

For this competition, buried deep in the verbage of section M, are the factors that will be considered most important.  For the first time in the commercial crew transportation development, cost is considered the most important factor, getting over half the points in the evaluator's scores.  Technical performance, including safety, gets less than one quarter of the total evaluation points.

So what do you think of that?

That is exactly what I would expect if I wanted one particular company to win the next round.
I'm more of a SpaceX fan than a Boeing fan, but I really don't want to see an early down-select. I hope this means it will cause Boeing to lobby against early down-select.

It would be great if we could have more than one company.  But the facts are that the funding is not there.  Any delay in down select will only add to delay before we get a new vehicle.  And waste money - the cost is not going to change dramatically down by having more than one company in the next phase.   NASA has already spent hundreds of millions that likely will never benefit the ISS or NASA and will never be regained by whatever cheaper the resultant winner can provide at, especially if we fund more than one in the next phase.  It is just the reality.  I understand the concern of putting all your eggs in one basket but I think SpaceX and Boeing have shown enough that it is a reasonable risk to take if we want to fly before 2018 or 2019.

Offline QuantumG

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If money was the issue, then why didn't the extra money added to the COTS program get SpaceX to the ISS sooner ? Perhaps having the assured CRS contract (and the pre-payments for future flights) actually reduced the pressure on SpaceX to deliver the product on schedule.

I agree, which is entirely my point. SpaceX is going as fast as NASA will allow, without NASA in the way we'd see what pure motivation can produce. I've been criticized for being the only person to think SpaceX is going too slow - that's a half truth, I just think they could go faster. I think they think so too.
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Offline Jason1701

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We haven't seen semi-flight ready vehicles from any of the 3 competitors. Everyone is performing early testing using crude mockups. You can say that SpaceX's capsule is ahead, but don't base that on the current cargo Dragon. The new capsule is almost as different from the cargo capsule as the F9 V1.1 is from the V1.0, maybe more so.

I think "almost as different" is much too strong. There is a great deal of commonality there. Just as importantly, the team working on Crew Dragon is fresh from the experience of developing Cargo.

Offline yg1968

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Quote from: NASA Commercial Crew Program
July  23, 2013 - CCtCap Pre-Solicitation Conference - NASA's CCP will host a Pre-Solicitation Conference and One-on-One sessions on August 1 and 2, 2013, respectively, at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The purpose is to present key aspects if the dRFP and solicit feedback from prospective Offerors to support NASA's development of the final RFP.
http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=157250
Source: http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/page.cfm?ID=29

James Dean is at the CCtCap Pre-Solicitation Conference, today:

Quote from: Tweet from James Dean
Post-cert missions expected to rotate crews, but may have some overlap with Soyuz depending on timing, so could be different mission.

Quote
NASA: final RFP for next commercial crew contract phase expected in Oct; proposals due Dec.; contract awards July.

Quote
Interesting to hear talk of Flight Readiness Reviews at L-2 weeks...for missions that may be four years away.
 
Quote
NASA: This is really two contracts in one RFP -- there's an R&D element and a missions element.
 
Quote
CCtCap performance period runs July '14 through Sept. '17, duration depending on partner performance. Awards could run thru '20.
 
Quote
Reporters are allowed to attend but not record the proceedings after the introductory remarks.
 
Quote
Video shows first flight of every U.S. human space vehicle. Mango: People in this room will put the next human vehicle in LEO. (Applause)
 
Quote
Mango: won't predict budget; seeing more congressional support for commercial crew because it is showing progress.
 
Quote
Bob Cabana, Phil McAlister and Ed Mango have opened the CCtCap pre-solicitation conf. at KSC. "Want your feedback."

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean
« Last Edit: 08/01/2013 04:00 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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NASA reporting that it may go down to two competitors for next round.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/36559next-round-of-commercial-crew-round-likely-to-support-only-two-competitors

Quote from: SN article
“I don’t believe we are going to be able to carry three in the next round,” Phil McAlister, NASA’s director of commercial spaceflight development, told the NASA Advisory Council’s (NAC) Human Exploration and Operations Committee during a meeting at NASA headquarters here. “I think two would probably be sufficient to maintain competition.” [...]

Quote
“We’re saying at least one to the [international space station] ... in order to get certified,” McAlister said. “I anticipate all the partners will propose additional test flights.”
« Last Edit: 08/01/2013 02:58 PM by yg1968 »

Online rcoppola

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If money was the issue, then why didn't the extra money added to the COTS program get SpaceX to the ISS sooner ? Perhaps having the assured CRS contract (and the pre-payments for future flights) actually reduced the pressure on SpaceX to deliver the product on schedule.

I agree, which is entirely my point. SpaceX is going as fast as NASA will allow, without NASA in the way we'd see what pure motivation can produce. I've been criticized for being the only person to think SpaceX is going too slow - that's a half truth, I just think they could go faster. I think they think so too.
I don't disagree in theory, but the fact is, none of us know exactly how far along they really are and to what extent they will be able to accelerate after the LAS test at years end.

Take the recent realization that when they designed the octoweb, it allowed them to shut down 3 different Merlin assembly lines because now they have universal attach points. It was only a short time ago there was concern that the fairing was going to be an issue, now we find out they have a dozen already built and in storage with more on the way and everyone was asking about 2nd stage testing when it was already at VAFB.

My point being that we may be very surprised just how far along they are and how quickly they can accelerate if they receive a good portion of the down-select.

And if/when they are selected to take over Pad 39A, which I believe they will be, then they are perfectly positioned to prepare for Crewed Dragon infrastructure development.
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Offline newpylong

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If money was the issue, then why didn't the extra money added to the COTS program get SpaceX to the ISS sooner ? Perhaps having the assured CRS contract (and the pre-payments for future flights) actually reduced the pressure on SpaceX to deliver the product on schedule.

I agree, which is entirely my point. SpaceX is going as fast as NASA will allow, without NASA in the way we'd see what pure motivation can produce. I've been criticized for being the only person to think SpaceX is going too slow - that's a half truth, I just think they could go faster. I think they think so too.

Be careful what you wish for. They've only had two revenue producing flights (and those part of a larger contract) and have drastically increased workforce and production capability to meet the manifest demands in the past year. The money needs to come from somewhere.

The idea that NASA is slowing them down is nonsense. If they wanted to accelerate ahead of CCiCap milestones there is nothing holding them back. They are going as fast as funding and development permit.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2013 03:32 PM by newpylong »

Offline yg1968

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Article on today's conference on the draft RFP:
http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130801/SPACE/130801019/NASA-space-industry-discuss-next-steps-commercial-crew-program

Quote
The competition is open, but boils down to three companies already developing systems with more than $1 billion in NASA support: The Boeing Co. and Sierra Nevada Corp., which plan to launch spacecraft atop United Launch Alliance rockets, and SpaceX. No other major launch provider appeared on a list of meeting attendees NASA provided.

Quote
Some industry representatives offered positive initial feedback about the contract’s attempt to build on a successful public-private partnership. “NASA’s made a great effort to try to make this both commercial and safe,” said Adam Harris, SpaceX vice president for government sales.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2013 02:08 AM by yg1968 »

Online AnalogMan

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Here is the presentation given at Thursday's pre-solicitation conference (79 pages):

http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/document_file_get.cfm?docid=677

Offline yg1968

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Here is the presentation given at Thursday's pre-solicitation conference (79 pages):

http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/document_file_get.cfm?docid=677

Page 16 of the presentation has a timeline for new entrants after the original CCtCap is awarded. I am not sure what that is about. 
« Last Edit: 08/02/2013 02:11 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Here is the presentation given at Thursday's pre-solicitation conference (79 pages):

http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/document_file_get.cfm?docid=677

See also this link to the printable version of the presentation. Slide 19 is clearer in this version of the presentation.
http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/document_file_get.cfm?docid=678

I have attached both versions to this post.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2013 02:14 AM by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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Here is the presentation given at Thursday's pre-solicitation conference (79 pages):

http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/document_file_get.cfm?docid=677

Page 16 of the presentation has a timeline for new entrants after the original CCtCap is awarded. I am not sure what that is about. 

Explained in the draft RFP:
Quote from: Section H.16 NEW ENTRANT (pg 47)
(a) The purpose of this clause is to notify the contractor that NASA may conduct a subsequent competition due to the loss of an existing CTS provider or if there are additional future NASA requirements for certified crew transportation. NASA will determine if these conditions are met prior to synopsizing and conducting a New Entrant competition. New entrants may compete for all task orders under this contract.

(b) The Government reserves the right to issue a solicitation in the future to seek an additional source(s) for the same or similar efforts/services.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Here is the presentation given at Thursday's pre-solicitation conference (79 pages):

http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/document_file_get.cfm?docid=677

Page 16 of the presentation has a timeline for new entrants after the original CCtCap is awarded. I am not sure what that is about. 

Allows bids from Blue Origin when it has flown?

Offline joek

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Allows bids from Blue Origin when it has flown?
Or anyone else who does not receive a Phase 2 award--assuming NASA deems it necessary per the draft RFP.  Presumably that would follow the same pattern: solicitation, evaluation and selection (as shown that's the SEB or "source evaluation board" part of the timeline).

Offline yg1968

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« Last Edit: 08/02/2013 04:34 AM by yg1968 »

Offline Lurker Steve

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I think the Post Certification Missions (PCMs) may tend to make these contracts look more expensive than they need to be. Those PCMs aren't going to be cheap, but it they are funded from the same ISS operations budget as the current Russian ISS ferry missions instead of the CTS budget, then things don't look quite as bad. The CCtCap office should only need to pay for initial certification, then follow-on flights can be booked thru operations.

Offline yg1968

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Quote from: 157250-DRAFT-001-001
Government Property
The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016. Within the proposal, the Offeror shall describe their approach to enable docking with the ISS. The options include the following:
      1. Government will provide NDS flight hardware units (limited to the noted four) as Government Furnished Property.
       2. Government will provide NDS Engineering as Government Furnished Data for Industry to build NDS. The preliminary build-to-print package available in November, 2014 and final build-to-print package available by June, 2016.”
        3. Contractor designs and builds unique docking system that is compatible with SSP 50808 requirements. The Government furnishes no hardware, data, or services. (See dRFP Clauses G.4, G.5, G.6, G.7, H.14; Provisions L.20-1-TA01, and M.2-TA01)

Can these options be combined?

My guess is that they can. It seems to me that option 1 and 2 complement each other. Any thoughts on this?

Offline joek

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Quote from: 157250-DRAFT-001-001
Government Property
The Government will make available a total of 4 NASA Docking System Block 1 units on a no charge-for-use basis for performance of work under this contract. If there are multiple contract awards, the available units will be equitably distributed, if necessary. The first flight unit will be available February, 2016. Within the proposal, the Offeror shall describe their approach to enable docking with the ISS. The options include the following:
      1. Government will provide NDS flight hardware units (limited to the noted four) as Government Furnished Property.
      2. Government will provide NDS Engineering as Government Furnished Data for Industry to build NDS. The preliminary build-to-print package available in November, 2014 and final build-to-print package available by June, 2016.”
      3. Contractor designs and builds unique docking system that is compatible with SSP 50808 requirements. The Government furnishes no hardware, data, or services. (See dRFP Clauses G.4, G.5, G.6, G.7, H.14; Provisions L.20-1-TA01, and M.2-TA01)
Can these options be combined?
My guess is that they can. It seems to me that option 1 and 2 complement each other. Any thoughts on this?

Agree, but would not exclude option (3).  Option (1) provides for only four units.  There is no way to meet potential post-certification mission demands (up to six units) without options (2) or (3).  Given that each bidder will not know exactly how many post-certification missions they will be awarded*, they can not depend solely on option (1).

* edit: beyond the nominal minimimum of two and up to six.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2013 02:47 AM by joek »

Offline joek

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I think the Post Certification Missions (PCMs) may tend to make these contracts look more expensive than they need to be. Those PCMs aren't going to be cheap, but it they are funded from the same ISS operations budget as the current Russian ISS ferry missions instead of the CTS budget, then things don't look quite as bad. The CCtCap office should only need to pay for initial certification, then follow-on flights can be booked thru operations.

Nominally agree, but I think your concerns are misplaced...

There are a nominal minimum of two PCM missions per award.  However, they are IDIQ, so while the nominal "guaranteed minimum" value of the contract includes them, whether NASA actually buys them is subject to a host of caveats (same as for CRS).  What program budget or office the costs for those missions are charged to is a separate matter.

IMHO part of the purpose for requiring offeror's to provide fixed-firm-price for PCM is so that NASA can make an informed decision as to operational cost--not simply certification--and ensure that bidders are not low-balling or shifting costs (per the "balanced pricing" requirement).

Kudos to the mavens at NASA.  Given the constraints, this draft RFP is a great first step.

Offline erioladastra

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I think the Post Certification Missions (PCMs) may tend to make these contracts look more expensive than they need to be. Those PCMs aren't going to be cheap, but it they are funded from the same ISS operations budget as the current Russian ISS ferry missions instead of the CTS budget, then things don't look quite as bad. The CCtCap office should only need to pay for initial certification, then follow-on flights can be booked thru operations.

it is intended to provide some stability and long term planning for the companies.

Offline erioladastra

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Here is the presentation given at Thursday's pre-solicitation conference (79 pages):

http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/document_file_get.cfm?docid=677

Page 16 of the presentation has a timeline for new entrants after the original CCtCap is awarded. I am not sure what that is about. 

Allows bids from Blue Origin when it has flown?

Theoretically this is a fully open process meaning anyone can bid.  Blue Origin can as well.  In practice, if you have not been participating in CCiCAP and CPC it is unlikely you can present the maturity needed for the next phase.  But this leaves the door open.  It is not an on ramp down the road for a company.  So either BO has to demo that it is within reach of 2017 and the other requirements or else it will be out.  Unlikely they can do that.  SNC will be hard pressed to also show it but they have a better shot.

Offline erioladastra

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If money was the issue, then why didn't the extra money added to the COTS program get SpaceX to the ISS sooner ? Perhaps having the assured CRS contract (and the pre-payments for future flights) actually reduced the pressure on SpaceX to deliver the product on schedule.

I agree, which is entirely my point. SpaceX is going as fast as NASA will allow, without NASA in the way we'd see what pure motivation can produce. I've been criticized for being the only person to think SpaceX is going too slow - that's a half truth, I just think they could go faster. I think they think so too.

Be careful what you wish for. They've only had two revenue producing flights (and those part of a larger contract) and have drastically increased workforce and production capability to meet the manifest demands in the past year. The money needs to come from somewhere.

The idea that NASA is slowing them down is nonsense. If they wanted to accelerate ahead of CCiCap milestones there is nothing holding them back. They are going as fast as funding and development permit.

Actually, NASA has been slowing things down but mainly for a bureaucracy point of view: taking forever to release documents, changing NDS designs, not engaging in certain areas...  and in general by spreading resources over 3 partners.

Offline yg1968

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One thing that isn't clear from the draft RFP is whether NASA could decide not to exercise any post-certification missions. I get the impression that NASA could decide not to exercise any post-certification-mission but that is not really their intent. If NASA decides to exercise some post-certification missions, they must exercise at least two missions per contractor unless there is extraordinary circumstances preventing from doing so. But I find the documentation very vague on this point.

Any thoughts on this?

Offline yg1968

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Here is a presentation given by Phil McAlister at the NAC:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/CSC_CSDStatus_July2013.pdf

Offline joek

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One thing that isn't clear from the draft RFP is whether NASA could decide not to exercise any post-certification missions. I get the impression that NASA could decide not to exercise any post-certification-mission but that is not really their intent. If NASA decides to exercise some post-certification missions, they must exercise at least two missions per contractor unless there is extraordinary circumstances preventing from doing so. But I find the documentation very vague on this point.

Assuming everything goes nominally, NASA is obliged* to purchase the "guaranteed minimum" two post-certification missions per CCtCap award.  Any beyond that minimum up to the maximum of six are at NASA's discretion.  The details are in the referenced FAR provisions for indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ).


*edit: Subject to all of the typical caveats.
« Last Edit: 08/04/2013 10:40 PM by joek »

Offline Lurker Steve

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One thing that isn't clear from the draft RFP is whether NASA could decide not to exercise any post-certification missions. I get the impression that NASA could decide not to exercise any post-certification-mission but that is not really their intent. If NASA decides to exercise some post-certification missions, they must exercise at least two missions per contractor unless there is extraordinary circumstances preventing from doing so. But I find the documentation very vague on this point.

If each vendor gets 2 PCMs, then either the crew rotations will be a lot shorter (no more 6 month missions), or the CTS contracts might not start until 2020. Given a 3 yr lag between the certification phase and the official production phase, I wonder if it's possible to keep the pricing structure the same.


Assuming everything goes nominally, NASA is obliged* to purchase the "guaranteed minimum" two post-certification missions per CCtCap award.  Any beyond that minimum up to the maximum of six are at NASA's discretion.  The details are in the referenced FAR provisions for indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ).


*edit: Subject to all of the typical caveats.

Online JohnFornaro

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I would disagree. The heart of the capsule is the pressure vessel, and that is the same. 80% of the reaction thrusters are the same.

The pressure vessel is just 1 line item out of thousands of components.

It might not even be exactly the same, since it needs to interface to a NDS hatch instead of the CBM. Different size openings and interfaces.

And not to mention that there is all new software to validate, again...

Of those thousands of components, the pressure vessel is the largest.  So it's not just about being "1 line item".

For example, the thrusters, at least the Draco-ish ones, would be exactly the same.  What about the prop tanks?

Indeed the interface may be different, but the larger point is that there is much commonality between the two capsules.  There is also the commonality of the personell in the capsule team; they are working cooperatively.

Just tryin' to keep perspective, rather than the typical "either-or" approach.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Lurker Steve

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I would disagree. The heart of the capsule is the pressure vessel, and that is the same. 80% of the reaction thrusters are the same.

The pressure vessel is just 1 line item out of thousands of components.

It might not even be exactly the same, since it needs to interface to a NDS hatch instead of the CBM. Different size openings and interfaces.

And not to mention that there is all new software to validate, again...

Of those thousands of components, the pressure vessel is the largest.  So it's not just about being "1 line item".

For example, the thrusters, at least the Draco-ish ones, would be exactly the same.  What about the prop tanks?

Indeed the interface may be different, but the larger point is that there is much commonality between the two capsules.  There is also the commonality of the personell in the capsule team; they are working cooperatively.

Just tryin' to keep perspective, rather than the typical "either-or" approach.

OK, here you go.

Even if the pressure vessel is the same shape, it might have new and or different openings and weldments. So, your largest piece has changed.

Draco thrusters have been either replaced or augmented with "Super-Duper" versions.

Propellant tanks are larger, in order to feed the new Super Duper thrusters.

The solar arrays are now gone, replaced by an increased number of lithium batteries. The capsule will not be able to charge these batteries by itself, so it will be dependent on the space station providing power via the new NDS interface.

That "veteran" capsule team of 3 complete missions will need to learn a set of procedures for working via a crewed capsule vs a cargo capsule. The set of actions for when things go wrong are completely different between crew and cargo missions.


Fortunately, the second largest component (by size) is most likely completely unchanged. The Pica-X heat shield remains the same.

Online Chris Bergin

So those of you who use one thread and one thread only....

The thread for the wxcellent and in-depth write up from Yves-A. Grondin

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/08/nasa-outlines-plans-commercial-crew-certification/

Is here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32531.0

Offline joek

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There were a couple updates in the last few weeks:
1. Q&A 2 (Sep 07, 2013)
- Questions and Answers - Post 2: 157250-OTHER-003-001.pdf
2. Interim Update 1 (Sep 13, 2013)
- Introduction: 157250-OTHER-004-001.pdf
- Updates to dRFP: 157250-OTHER-004-002.docx
- Update to Attachment J-02: 157250-OTHER-004-003.docx

I haven't sorted through all of it, but the more interesting parts generally appear to be in the first part of Q&A 2.  Beyond that, there appear to be three broad categories that consume most of the verbiage: (1) clarifications and other contract minutiae; (2) requests for clarifications on liability and insurance requirements; and (3) other.

While the response to quite a few of the questions is "Response is in work", that suggests a healthy conversation continues between NASA and providers to figure out What It All Means.  Some of the more interesting tidbits from my brief review of the Q&A ...

Quote
5. [MA03] How is company financial investment / commitment handled in the price evaluation?

It is not. It will be evaluated under MA03, Approach to Lifecycle Cost Management.

Quote
12. [TA01] Can you clarify the difference between recovery operations & SAR services with respect to Contractor requirements? According CCT-PLN-1100, recovery is defined as “The process of proceeding to a designated nominal landing site, and retrieving crew, flight crew equipment, cargo, and payloads after a planned nominal landing” The Contractor is required to provide end to end transportation service including crew recovery for nominal landings.

Search and Rescue (SAR) is defined as “the process of locating the crew, proceeding to their position, and providing assistance.” NASA retains the responsibility to ensure a SAR capability exists for ascent and reentry phases of flight. The Contractor is responsible for interfacing with the SAR service in order to ensure survival of the crew (interface between CTS system and SAR forces).

Quote
13. [Global] Can you tell us more about ISS Services Contract?

It’s very early to say much about this contract at this time. What information we have is preliminary and subject to change. We anticipate this will be Firm Fixed Price. We also think that this will be a FAR Part 12 commercial contract. We don’t know the time frame. Early planning is being coordinated between CCP & ISSP.

Quote
19. [Global] Are NASA Astronauts on NASA CTS missions anticipated to be Pilots-In- Command (PIC), simply crew members, or both?

The Offeror should propose an operations concept along with their proposed design. Depending on the operations concept, some NASA astronauts on the crew could serve as Pilot-in-Command and others would be crew members.

...

Offline yg1968

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Thanks for the update.

We already knew this but this question confirms that the rental model versus the taxi model is up to the contractor.

Quote
7. [Global] Will the pilot be NASA provided or contractor provided?
The approach should be proposed by the Contractor.

See this article for a prior discussion on the rental versus taxi models:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/05/mcalister-discusses-commercial-crew-certification/
« Last Edit: 09/17/2013 04:44 AM by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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We already knew this but this question confirms that the rental model versus the taxi model is up to the contractor.

No we did not already know that, which was why there was ambiguity and thus the need for clarification in the Q&A.  In any case, it confirms only that several options are open, and says little as to what the model will be or the final decision.
« Last Edit: 09/17/2013 05:36 AM by joek »

Offline yg1968

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We already knew this but this question confirms that the rental model versus the taxi model is up to the contractor.

No we did not already know that, which was why there was ambiguity and thus the need for clarification in the Q&A.  In any case, it confirms only that several options are open, and says little as to what the model will be or the final decision.

McAlister had already say so at the NAC meeting last April (see the text below). So we (on this forum) already knew this. But I suppose the answer makes it official.  It's unlikely that NASA will change its mind on this in the final RFP. It will be up to the contractor to decide which model they wish to offer.

Quote
A crew transportation system can either be offered as a taxi or a rental system. Under the taxi system, each company would use its own pilot to ferry the crew. Under a rental arrangement, NASA would rent the entire capsule and would thus provide its own pilot.

McAlister explained that it was up to each company to decide which model they preferred. “NASA has not dictated whether the commercial providers should use a taxi or a rental car system. We have left that up to the provider (to decide which) concept of operation is best for them.

“Because of our requirement that they have to provide a lifeboat function, it kind of complicates the taxi model to some extent but it doesn’t preclude it. It’s up to the providers to figure out whether they want their pilot or a NASA pilot. As long as they meet our requirements, we shouldn’t care (which option they choose).

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/05/mcalister-discusses-commercial-crew-certification/
« Last Edit: 09/17/2013 03:09 PM by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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Sorry should have clarified... There are three different contract items or mission classes, and much of the discussion is ambiguous as to which is being addressed:

1. Certification flight (part of CCtCap base contract).  Crew composition and mission duration appear to be an open question and TBP by the provider.  Whether that is a taxi or rental car model appears to be largely dependent on the required certification mission duration.

2. Post-certification flights (optional part of CCtCap).  While this is TBP and up to the provder, as you point out, available information suggests a rental car model is likely, per McAlister's comment.

3. ISS crew transportation services (not part of CCtCap).  I expect this would follow the same model as (2).  However, the RFP and requirements are still in the formative stages (per the Q&A).

Offline yg1968

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Quote
After careful consideration, NASA finds that CLIN 004, Capabilities in Excess of Requirements, adds more confusion and complexity than it provides in benefits. Our intention is to not include CLIN 004 in the final RFP. We wish to emphasize that CCtCap CLIN 002 PCM pricing is intended to be comprehensive and include all capabilities of an offeror’s CTS. Rather than capture CLIN 004 capabilities and pricing in the proposals, NASA may request any additional capabilities if needed as part of the Task Ordering clauses.

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/157250-OTHER-007-001.pdf

Offline yg1968

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CCiCap has been delayed by a couple of months because of the government shutdown. Proposals are due on January 22, 2014. Awards will be made no later than September 2014.

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/157250-OTHER-006-001.pdf
« Last Edit: 11/04/2013 11:08 PM by yg1968 »

Offline manboy

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Thanks for the links.
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline MP99

Quote
After careful consideration, NASA finds that CLIN 004, Capabilities in Excess of Requirements, adds more confusion and complexity than it provides in benefits. Our intention is to not include CLIN 004 in the final RFP. We wish to emphasize that CCtCap CLIN 002 PCM pricing is intended to be comprehensive and include all capabilities of an offeror’s CTS. Rather than capture CLIN 004 capabilities and pricing in the proposals, NASA may request any additional capabilities if needed as part of the Task Ordering clauses.

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/157250-OTHER-007-001.pdf

Anyone else getting a security warning on that link?

Cheers, Martin

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Quote
After careful consideration, NASA finds that CLIN 004, Capabilities in Excess of Requirements, adds more confusion and complexity than it provides in benefits. Our intention is to not include CLIN 004 in the final RFP. We wish to emphasize that CCtCap CLIN 002 PCM pricing is intended to be comprehensive and include all capabilities of an offeror’s CTS. Rather than capture CLIN 004 capabilities and pricing in the proposals, NASA may request any additional capabilities if needed as part of the Task Ordering clauses.

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/157250-OTHER-007-001.pdf

Anyone else getting a security warning on that link?

Cheers, Martin

Something weird happened but the document now downloads without a warning on Firefox.

Offline yg1968

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The final RFP for CCtCap was released today:
https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgibin/eps/sol.cgi?acqid=158768

Offline yg1968

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The most relevant documents in the final RFP are the following two documents:

Offline QuantumG

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CCkneeCap.  :'(

(snark willfully stolen from Jeff Foust via Twitter)
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline sdsds

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The most insightful bit of the press release seems to be the final phrase in the first sentence.
http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/november/nasa-advances-effort-to-launch-astronauts-again-from-us-soil-to-space-station/

NASA took another step Tuesday to restore an American capability to launch astronauts from U.S. soil to the International Space Station by the end of 2017, subject to the availability of adequate funding.
-- sdsds --

Offline woods170

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CCkneeCap.  :'(

(snark willfully stolen from Jeff Foust via Twitter)


Care to elaborate why this should be "CCkneeCap"?
« Last Edit: 11/20/2013 08:12 AM by woods170 »

Offline QuantumG

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CCkneeCap.  :'(

(snark willfully stolen from Jeff Foust via Twitter)


Care to elaborate why this should be "CCkneeCap"?

Jeff was saying to watch out for it, not that this is, yet.

Myself, I think a 168 page RFP is just the beginning of the "just as good as an SAA" promise.

I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline woods170

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CCkneeCap.  :'(

(snark willfully stolen from Jeff Foust via Twitter)


Care to elaborate why this should be "CCkneeCap"?

Jeff was saying to watch out for it, not that this is, yet.

Myself, I think a 168 page RFP is just the beginning of the "just as good as an SAA" promise.



That I agree with. It's FAR this time, with all it's associated red-tape and other bureaucratic obstacles. This is not exactly helping to get things speeding along. Neither is the lack of sufficient budget.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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That I agree with. It's FAR this time, with all it's associated red-tape and other bureaucratic obstacles. This is not exactly helping to get things speeding along. Neither is the lack of sufficient budget.
Well, we all have been afraid of that happening for a while...
Just wonderful how politics is able to ruin everything, all the time.
:(

Online rcoppola

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My first response was...How many people took how long to produce this monstrosity. Is NASA placing too many administrative and bureaucratic layers on what is supposed to be a more efficient and less costly endeavor?

But I'm not sure that's fair. This is a rather complex undertaking.

So can somebody in the know, give an intelligent assessment as to whether the way in which this RFP was written, can fulfill the intended purpose of the program? I have my opinions but I'd just assume get some in-the-trenches real world thoughts on it first. (or not, my eyes started to bleed after page 93)
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Offline joek

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For the MSFT-averse, attached are all the files unpacked from the pdf's in a single zip file.  The word files have been converted to pdf; excel docs are not converted.  Much of it is boilerplate, to be provided, or by reference to other documents (some of which are not public).  The most interesting in this package appear to be (in nominal order):
- 158768-SOL-001-001
- RFP NNK14467515R - CCtCap
- Attachment L-01, Statement of Objectives (SOO)- CCtCap
- Attachment J-02, Data Requirement Deliverables - CCtCap
- Attachment J-03, Appendix A, Milestone Acceptance Criteria and Payment Schedule - CCtCap

Offline joek

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My first response was...How many people took how long to produce this monstrosity. Is NASA placing too many administrative and bureaucratic layers on what is supposed to be a more efficient and less costly endeavor?

But I'm not sure that's fair. This is a rather complex undertaking.

So can somebody in the know, give an intelligent assessment as to whether the way in which this RFP was written, can fulfill the intended purpose of the program? I have my opinions but I'd just assume get some in-the-trenches real world thoughts on it first. (or not, my eyes started to bleed after page 93)

Not sure why the surprise or consternation.  The draft RFP issued in July (excluding attachments) was 161 pages; this one is 168 pages.  While I have not completed comparing the two, the primary differences appear to be more clarification, with some possible substantive changes related to cargo and post-certification missions.  Would appreciate it if if anyone else has the time to compare the draft and this version and report on substantive changes.

Offline joek

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That I agree with. It's FAR this time, with all it's associated red-tape and other bureaucratic obstacles. This is not exactly helping to get things speeding along. Neither is the lack of sufficient budget.
Well, we all have been afraid of that happening for a while...

Nonsense.  There are many flavors of FAR, some with more red tape than others.  In any case, for NASA to acquire crew transportation services, they must execute an acquisition contract (that's the "A" in "FAR").  The rules of such acquisitions are governed by law and were a given from day zero.

Offline mlindner

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CCkneeCap.  :'(

(snark willfully stolen from Jeff Foust via Twitter)


Care to elaborate why this should be "CCkneeCap"?

Jeff was saying to watch out for it, not that this is, yet.

Myself, I think a 168 page RFP is just the beginning of the "just as good as an SAA" promise.



That I agree with. It's FAR this time, with all it's associated red-tape and other bureaucratic obstacles. This is not exactly helping to get things speeding along. Neither is the lack of sufficient budget.

Where's the quote where Elon says "We might not bid on it."

If it gets that bad, I hope he doesn't.

Edit: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/nasa/elon-musk-spacex-could-dump-nasa-6530487

Edit2: To clarify: I don't mean I don't want commercial crew to succeed. I just mean that I value SpaceX independence and approach to spaceflight more than I value the success of commercial crew.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2013 12:24 AM by mlindner »
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Offline MP99

Did CCiCap / CCDev include the same clauses re NASA retaining ownership of any inventions unless reported, detailed & claimed, plus NASA having automatic licence (that they can assign to other contractors) to anything claimed?

Cheers, Martin

Offline yg1968

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Quote from: Marcia Smith
NASA asks: under FAA law/regs, are NASA astronauts prohibited frm performing op tasks on cmrcl spflts. FAA answers:
https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/406781614274777089

The answer is essentially, no. See the full reply, here:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-02/html/2013-28405.htm
« Last Edit: 11/30/2013 01:07 PM by yg1968 »

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I would think that a publicly held company like Boeing or SNC would be more resistant to signing on to the liability clauses in the RFP than a privately held company (SpaceX) would be, or else they would price in the liability at a higher rate, making themselves less competitive.

 .

Offline Lurker Steve

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I would think that a publicly held company like Boeing or SNC would be more resistant to signing on to the liability clauses in the RFP than a privately held company (SpaceX) would be, or else they would price in the liability at a higher rate, making themselves less competitive.

 .

I don't know what liability cause you are talking about, but I don't see Boeing being resistant. They've been sued before and paid their fines. I assume they just consider it one of the costs of doing business. That said, they also have plenty of lawyers to defend themselves.

I would think SpaceX might actually be a little more careful in this area, since their corporation doesn't have the same cash reserves that allow them to handle a large penalty.

Offline yg1968

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The Pre-Proposal Conference was today. The slides are attached to this post:

Quote
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) will host a Pre-Proposal Conference on December 4, 2013. This conference will be held at the Press Site News Facility located at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The purpose of the conference is to provide an overview of the recently released RFP, NNK14467515R, for the CCtCap contract. This briefing will also highlight significant changes since release of the draft RFP. Documents related to this briefing are available here:

http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/page.cfm?ID=50&CFID=1305926&CFTOKEN=ab9ef9422df9a65b-43450545-C0DE-B5DD-140E09D8D64C3B0B
« Last Edit: 12/08/2013 05:46 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Rocket Science

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The Pre-Proposal Conference was today. The slides are attached to this post:

Quote
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) will host a Pre-Proposal Conference on December 4, 2013. This conference will be held at the Press Site News Facility located at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The purpose of the conference is to provide an overview of the recently released RFP, NNK14467515R, for the CCtCap contract. This briefing will also highlight significant changes since release of the draft RFP. Documents related to this briefing are available here:
Thanks yg! :)
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Offline yg1968

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The most noticeable change (on slide 18) is that post-certification missions can now be awarded up until 5 years from the date that a CCtCap contract is signed. This should be around August 2019 if CCtCap is awarded in August (it was previously up until December 31st 2020 in the draft RFP).

Offline yg1968

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The FAA-NASA Partnership presentation is interesting and worth reading.

Offline joek

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Thanks again yg.  A few other bits of note:
1. Mission Suitability Evaluation adds "Inherent Capabilities in excess of NASA requirements ..."
2. Pricing Evaluation adds "All other Government Furnished Property and Services (outside of CCtCap) will be evaluated to determine whether a competitive advantage exists ..."
3. Waiver of requirement for certified cost data for contractor but not subcontractors (seems odd?).
4. Cargo has been eliminated (was optional CLIN in draft RFP).
5. A number of clarifications concerning FAA regulations:
a) FAA license not required for test flights, but required for post-certification missions.
b) Crew is an employee of the licensee; NASA astronauts would be spaceflight participants.  Good discussion of the ruling here.

Offline manboy

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The Pre-Proposal Conference was today. The slides are attached to this post:

Quote
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) will host a Pre-Proposal Conference on December 4, 2013. This conference will be held at the Press Site News Facility located at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The purpose of the conference is to provide an overview of the recently released RFP, NNK14467515R, for the CCtCap contract. This briefing will also highlight significant changes since release of the draft RFP. Documents related to this briefing are available here:
Thanks.
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline arachnitect

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Thanks again yg.  A few other bits of note:
1. Mission Suitability Evaluation adds "Inherent Capabilities in excess of NASA requirements ..."

4. Cargo has been eliminated (was optional CLIN in draft RFP).


What will they be assessing as "inherent capabilities" ? Re-boost?


Offline joek

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Thanks again yg.  A few other bits of note:
1. Mission Suitability Evaluation adds "Inherent Capabilities in excess of NASA requirements ..."
What will they be assessing as "inherent capabilities" ? Re-boost?

Could be anything.  The significance is that it provides NASA more latitude in the evaluation, and all other things being equal, could tilt the balance towards an offering that provides more than NASA requires.  May seem like a no-brainer, but contracts have been contested and lost because of the lack of such verbiage in the RFP.

Offline dchill

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I would think that a publicly held company like Boeing or SNC would be more resistant to signing on to the liability clauses in the RFP than a privately held company (SpaceX) would be, or else they would price in the liability at a higher rate, making themselves less competitive.

Since when has SNC been a publicly held company? (http://www.sncorp.com/about_snc.php)

Offline yg1968

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Offline yg1968

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Slide 11 of this presentation is interesting:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/20140414_HEOC_CommercialCrew.pdf

It mentions that CCtCap will be a:
Quote from: Kathy Lueders
Phased acquisition using competitive down-selection procedures

P.S. See this link on what that generally implies:
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/regs/5217-25.htm

Quote
1852.217-71 Phased Acquisition Using Down-Selection Procedures.

  As prescribed in 1817.7302(a), insert the following clause:

PHASED ACQUISITION USING DOWN-SELECTION PROCEDURES

(NOVEMBER 2011)

  (a) This solicitation is for the acquisition of ______ [insert Program title].  The acquisition will be conducted as a two-phased procurement using a competitive down-selection technique between phases.  In this technique, two or more contractors will be selected for Phase 1.  It is expected that the single contractor for Phase 2 will be chosen from among these contractors after a competitive down-selection.

  (b) Phase 1 is for the _____ [insert purpose of phase].  Phase 2 is for _____ [insert general Phase 2 goals].

  (c) The competition for Phase 2 will be based on the results of Phase 1, and the award criteria for Phase 2 will include successful completion of Phase 1 requirements.

  (d) NASA will issue a separate, formal solicitation for Phase 2 that will include all information required for preparation of proposals, including the final evaluation factors.

  (e) Phase 2 will be synopsized in the Governmentwide Point of Entry (GPE) in accordance with FAR 5.201 and 5.203 unless one of the exceptions in FAR 5.202 applies.  Notwithstanding NASA's expectation that only the Phase 1 contractors will be capable of successfully competing for Phase 2, all proposals will be considered.  Any other responsible source may indicate its desire to submit a proposal by responding to the Phase 2 synopsis, and NASA will provide that source a solicitation.

  (f) To be considered for Phase 2 award, offerors must demonstrate a design maturity equivalent to that of the Phase 1 contractors.  This demonstration shall include the following Phase 1 deliverables upon which Phase 2 award will be based:  _____ [insert the specific Phase 1 deliverables].  Failure to fully and completely demonstrate the appropriate level of design maturity may render the proposal unacceptable with no further consideration for contract award.

  (g)  The following draft Phase 2 evaluation factors are provided for your information.  Please note that these evaluation factors are not final, and NASA reserves the right to change them at any time up to and including the date upon which Phase 2 proposals are solicited.

   [Insert draft Phase 2 evaluation factors (and subfactors, if available), including demonstration of successful completion of Phase 1 requirements.]

  (h) Although NASA will request Phase 2 proposals from Phase 1 contractors, submission of the Phase 2 proposal is not a requirement of the Phase 1 contract.  Accordingly, the costs of preparing these proposals shall not be a direct charge to the Phase 1 contract or any other Government contract.

  (i) The anticipated schedule for conducting this phased procurement is provided for your information.  These dates are projections only and are not intended to commit NASA to complete a particular action at a given time.  [Insert dates below].

   Phase 1 award -
   Phase 2 synopsis -
   Phase 2 proposal requested -
   Phase 2 proposal receipt -
   Phase 2 award -
« Last Edit: 04/22/2014 06:00 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Prober

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It would be interesting if SpaceX could use a crewed Dragon variant for the Feb 2015 CRS delivery of the new docking mech.
That's how ATLAS was going to be installed.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/nasa-develops-new-docking-system-for-constellation-220598/

RePosting part of this interesting info before it gets lost....

"The first two manned Orion crew exploration vehicle flights to the International Space Station, scheduled from September 2015, will deliver a new NASA-developed docking adaptor.

These will be fitted to the two ISS ports the Space Shuttle currently uses to dock with the station, and which from 2015 will be used by CEV.

Fitted to the ISS's Russia-designed Androgynous Peripheral Attach System, the new APAS To Low Impact Docking System Adaptor System, or ATLAS, will see Orion, which uses NASA's LIDS, dock with ATLAS' LIDS interface.

It would resolve the issue of how Orion docks with the ISS's APAS from CEV's expected initial operating capability date of September 2015, while in Moon missions from 2020 it will use LIDS to dock with NASA's Altair Lunar Lander"
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Online AnalogMan

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It would be interesting if SpaceX could use a crewed Dragon variant for the Feb 2015 CRS delivery of the new docking mech.
That's how ATLAS was going to be installed.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/nasa-develops-new-docking-system-for-constellation-220598/

RePosting part of this interesting info before it gets lost....

"The first two manned Orion crew exploration vehicle flights to the International Space Station, scheduled from September 2015, will deliver a new NASA-developed docking adaptor.

These will be fitted to the two ISS ports the Space Shuttle currently uses to dock with the station, and which from 2015 will be used by CEV.

Fitted to the ISS's Russia-designed Androgynous Peripheral Attach System, the new APAS To Low Impact Docking System Adaptor System, or ATLAS, will see Orion, which uses NASA's LIDS, dock with ATLAS' LIDS interface.

It would resolve the issue of how Orion docks with the ISS's APAS from CEV's expected initial operating capability date of September 2015, while in Moon missions from 2020 it will use LIDS to dock with NASA's Altair Lunar Lander"


I don't understand why this six-year old information is interesting.  Long overtaken by subsequent developments.

Offline jacqmans

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May 30, 2014

NASA and Industry Complete First Phase to Certify New Crew Transportation Systems

Development is Major Step toward Returning Human Space Launches to U.S. Soil

NASA's Commercial Crew Program and industry have completed the first step in the certification process that will enable American-made commercial spacecraft safely to ferry astronauts from U.S. soil to and from the International Space Station by 2017. The completion of the Certification Products Contracts (CPC) marks critical progress in the development of next-generation American space transportation systems that are safe, reliable and cost-effective.

"We’re making great strides toward returning human spaceflight launch capability to U.S. soil," said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This certification is important to ensuring our crew members have reliable transportation to and from the space station where they are conducting research essential to advancing human exploration farther into the solar system."

Under the contracts, The Boeing Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems (SNC) and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed reviews detailing how each plans to meet NASA's certification requirements to transport space station crew members to and from the orbiting laboratory. NASA awarded the contracts totaling $30 million in December 2012.

"There’s more than one correct way to build a spacecraft, and CPC has been an invaluable learning process for our industry partners and the agency," said Kathy Lueders, NASA Commercial Crew Program manager. "It is extremely exciting to see the unique approach each company brings to the table.”

Throughout the CPC process, the companies provided plans to show safety has been a key element in the design of their spacecraft and demonstrate how their systems will meet NASA’s performance requirements.

"It's allowed them to mature their plans and gave us additional insight into each company’s approach," said Ed Burns, systems engineering and integration acting manager for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. "It also gave our NASA team and the partners a chance to work together towards certifying their systems."

The second phase of the certification process, the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap), is open to any company with system designs at a maturity level consistent with the completion of the first certification phase. NASA will announce one or more CCtCap awards later this year. This second phase will include at least one crewed flight test per awardee to verify the spacecraft can dock to the space station and all its systems perform as expected. Contracts also will include at least two, and as many as six, crewed, post-certification missions to enable NASA to meet its station crew rotation requirements.

Although CCtCap will enable NASA to acquire a capability to transport crews to the space station, NASA intends that U.S. providers market and use their systems for other customers.

For more information about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and its aerospace industry partners, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Online AnalogMan

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The most relevant documents in the final RFP are the following two documents:

This point keeps coming up. The minimum amounts of post-certification missions (PCM) for Boeing and SpaceX is 2 each. The maximum is 6 on a combined basis. In other words, they are likely to get 2 or 3 PCM each. The price of the awards includes 6 missions for each company because it assumes the worst case scenario: that the other provider will not make it to certification.

Quote from: page 10 of the Final RFP
The maximum potential number of Post Certification Missions which may be ordered under this contract is six (6). If multiple awards are made, the maximum number of all PCMs awarded under all contracts when combined will not exceed six (6). The maximum potential total value of all Post Certification Mission Task Orders which may be ordered under this contract is six (6) missions.


No, the maximum potential number of flights was changed to be on a per-contract basis in amendment 2 of the RFP

"The minimum quantity of Post Certification Missions in this contract is two (2).  PCM task orders will not be issued until the Contractor has accomplished the criteria shown in clause H.19, Post Certification Mission Payments, Milestones and ATP Criteria, paragraph (a).

The maximum potential number of Post Certification Missions which may be ordered under this contract is six (6)."
[end of clause]

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/158768-AMEND-002-002.docx
https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/158768-AMEND-002-001.pdf

"The purpose of this amendment is to allow for a maximum potential number of Post Certification Missions (PCMs) of six (6) per CCtCap contract award."
« Last Edit: 09/17/2014 11:44 PM by AnalogMan »

Offline yg1968

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Good find! Thanks! I didn't realize that you could amend a final RFP. The amendment was made on April 22, 2014 (after the final RFP was issued).

Incidentally, here is the latest (updated) RFP documents. The first document (158768-AMEND-002-002.pdf) amends the second one (Amendment-001 RFP NNK14467515R - CCtCap.pdf).

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgibin/eps/sol.cgi?acqid=158768
« Last Edit: 09/18/2014 01:22 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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I just realized the post-certification missions have to be ordered before September 2019 but they don't have to be completed before that time. Here is what the RFP says on this:

Quote
I.6 52.216-18 ORDERING (OCT 1995) (Applicable to IDIQ CLINs 002 and 003)
(a) Any supplies and services to be furnished under this contract shall be ordered by issuance of delivery orders or task orders by the individuals or activities designated in the Schedule. Such orders may be issued up to 5-years from the effective date of the contract.
(b) All delivery orders or task orders are subject to the terms and conditions of this contract. In the event of conflict between a delivery order or task order and this contract, the contract shall control.
(c) If mailed, a delivery order or task order is considered "issued" when the Government deposits the order in the mail. Orders may be issued orally, by facsimile, or by electronic commerce methods only if authorized in the Schedule.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2014 01:59 AM by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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Given the CCtCap awards to Boeing and SpaceX, the net of the amendment means that there will now be a maximum of 12 post-certification missions (instead of 6) and that--all other things equal--up to 4 of those missions will be competitively bid between Boeing and SpaceX.

Offline yg1968

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Yes. Here is what the RFP has to say on this issue:

Quote from: RFP
H.8 POST CERTIFICATION MISSION TASK ORDERING PROCEDURES
(APPLICABLE TO CLIN 002)

(a) Requirements for Competition.
In the event that two (2) or more commercial crew transportation contracts are awarded, a fair opportunity to be considered for task orders issued under this contract based upon the specific task order requirements will be provided, unless the Contracting Officer determines that one of the following apply:
(1) The Agency need is of such urgency that competing the requirements among Contractors would result in unacceptable delays;
(2) Only one Contractor is capable of providing the service at the level of quality required because the service ordered is unique or highly specialized;
(3) The order must be issued on a sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to an order issued under the contract, provided that all Contractors were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order; or
(4) It is necessary to place an order to satisfy the minimum guarantee per clause B.4, Post Certification Missions (IDIQ) (CLIN 002).
« Last Edit: 09/21/2014 02:30 AM by yg1968 »

Offline Patchouli

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Thanks again yg.  A few other bits of note:
1. Mission Suitability Evaluation adds "Inherent Capabilities in excess of NASA requirements ..."
2. Pricing Evaluation adds "All other Government Furnished Property and Services (outside of CCtCap) will be evaluated to determine whether a competitive advantage exists ..."
3. Waiver of requirement for certified cost data for contractor but not subcontractors (seems odd?).
4. Cargo has been eliminated (was optional CLIN in draft RFP).
5. A number of clarifications concerning FAA regulations:
a) FAA license not required for test flights, but required for post-certification missions.
b) Crew is an employee of the licensee; NASA astronauts would be spaceflight participants.  Good discussion of the ruling here.


Old post but number 4 explains why the CST-100 was able to win even though cargo capacity is very limited compared to Spacex's and SNC's vehicles.

On number 2 The definition of competitive seems a little loose.
 To say Spacex has a cost advantage would be a huge under statement.
But then the Falcon 9 even in expendable mode is a much lower cost LV then the Atlas V.
SNC wouldn't be able to match Spacex on cost either since they still have the large reoccurring cost of the Atlas V but would likely have gotten closer then Boeing.
The space vehicle side of their costs seem like they would have been have been similar to Dragon.


« Last Edit: 09/21/2014 03:43 PM by Patchouli »

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