Author Topic: Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) BROAD AGENCY  (Read 9266 times)

Offline HIP2BSQRE

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Who do we expect to put in proposal especially for Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM)   https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/163051-SOL-001-001.pdf  Who do you think will win and why? 

Offline the_other_Doug

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Welllll...  this is a study/demo RFP for exactly the things many of us have been saying need to be developed to give Orion an ability to go farther, longer and faster -- opening up its exploration envelope all the way to Mars and beyond.

First off, interesting to note that the RFP restricts any participation by China.  It says it does so in anticipation of such a restriction by the coming appropriations legislation.  Not surprising, just interesting.

Second, it states the relationship a successful prime contractor will have with NASA -- "...contracts resulting from this BAA will enable a public-private partnership for robust exploration and implementation of opportunities managed by the NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Division within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate."

For the habitation module, I would guess Bigelow would be an eager bidder.  Boeing and LM may also look at this, and Airbus might also want to at least submit a proposal.  (I'm sure I'm leaving some players out and not looking at the more complex possibilities -- for example, Orbital might be interested in a piece of this action by expanding its Cygnus knowledge base, while SpaceX might not be interested in this area yet, concentrating instead on getting F9H and the BFR online.)

I'm not very conversant with the companies that would be interested in the EP portion of the RFP.  I imagine the same people who submitted bids for studies on the earlier ARM study RFP for EP in the 40kW range would be the logical choices.  Looking to expand EP capabilities up to 300kW seems ambitious, and the eventual expandability to MW-range EP even moreso.  But if it can be done, such relatively high-thrust EP systems would open up the exploration envelope a lot.

As for the Small Satellite portion, I think this is meant as an opportunity for some bidders to get a foot, or even a toe, into the door with actual development contracts for test equipment that could be flown as early as EM-1 to provide more needful data for the development of the habitat and EP systems.  A bidder that fails to get a prime study contract might still get into the development phase by winning a contract for one of the small satellite items.

Only a week away from the deadline for proposals.  It will be interesting to see who exactly does submit bids.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline TrevorMonty

The EP proportion sounds like it was written for VASIMR. They need this funding life line.

The Bigelow BA330 might be a bit to big for these missions. Here is a link to presentation on a BLEO Cygnus habitat. IMHO ideally it would use the Orion ECLSS to save on spares

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/%7Efiso/telecon/Walz_9-10-14/


This presentation talks about compatibility between space vehicles and their systems. Definitely applicable to the habitat and spares support, the comment about ISS having 70 different fans in it I found interesting.


http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/%7Efiso/telecon/Duggan_12-3-14/

Online A_M_Swallow

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The ISS is a long term habitat so it can be compatible with surface buildings and Mars transfer vehicles.

The 21 days the Orion ECLSS supports is likely to be similar to the time a ground vehicle will spend before returning to base.  There may be a high level of compatibility between the types of vehicle lifesupport.

Offline enkarha

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I'm pretty sure Boeing will put up something like their Exploration Gateway Platform again for the habitation systems area.
Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars ♪

Online A_M_Swallow

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Who do we expect to put in proposal especially for Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM)   https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/163051-SOL-001-001.pdf  Who do you think will win and why? 

I am a little worried that the reporting requirements consist of 6 monthly meetings, other than final delivery there are no outfeeds.  A man power plan is required but no schedules for issuing the requirements documents, quality plan, list of stages and work packages.  The formal reviews can form some of the milestones.

p.s. On re-reading I found this sentence which clears up my worries. "This Umbrella Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is seeking proposals in three areas for concept studies or technology development projects executed through fixed price contracts with milestone payments."
« Last Edit: 12/17/2014 04:37 am by A_M_Swallow »

Offline TrevorMonty

The Cygnus habitat has few pluses, one option is to use the prototype for a CRS delivery. After leaving ISS,  place it in orbit for a few weeks to flight test systems eg ECLSS. If any problems are detected it can be returned to ISS for investigation.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Slightly OT but I remain convinced that NASA has an office whose single and only purpose is creating cool and relevant-sounding project acronyms.
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

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The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Online A_M_Swallow

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I hope some good proposals were received.

Offline jongoff

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I'm not sure if this thread should stay under Advanced Concepts (Commecial Space seems more appropriate), but here's NASA's announcement about the NextSTEP BAA winners:

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/march/nasa-announces-new-partnerships-with-us-industry-for-key-deep-space-capabilities/

I see MSNW and Ad Astra both got funding (as did Aerojet Rocketdyne) for electric propulsion work. I'm glad to see MSNW getting some serious additional development funding for reducing their RF Plasma Thrusters to practice.

Under the habitat studies, it's good to see Orbital got one, probably for a Cygnus-derived EAM, I wouldn't be surprised if LM's was for either a Jupiter or Orion derived EAM, Bigelow is self-explanatory. Orbitec is now owned by SNC, so it'll be interesting to see what they proposed. Not sure for Boeing, Dynetics (maybe something related to the SLS EUS derived hab module, since they're also in Huntsville and close to the SLS team?), or Hamilton Sundstrand.

Under cubesat studies, LM and Morehead State got contracts to develop cubesats to fly on EM-1. Funny thing is they mentioned a price range when there were any winners. Anyone want to guess who had the $7.9M cubesat and who had the $1.4M one?

Now, one interesting twist is that I think for most of these contracts, they had to show at least 50% matching either from other government programs or their own money, so these aren't straight-up contracts, but more of public private partnerships.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness,

~Jon

Offline TrevorMonty

A lot of competition in Habitat section. I can see a need for two types. Disposable EAM for Orion missions using open life support systems. Permanent habitat in lunar orbit/EML1/2 using enclosed/recyclable ECLSS.

Offline docmordrid

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With MSNW it could be the EM plasmoid or  ELF thruster, or even the Fusion Powered Rocket.

http://msnwllc.com/space-propulsion
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Offline jongoff

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With MSNW it could be the EM plasmoid or  ELF thruster, or even the Fusion Powered Rocket.

http://msnwllc.com/space-propulsion

Yeah, I'll have to ask Dave for more details on what they're doing (and ask if I can share info here on NSF). Actually, I think he has an NSF account. I may ping him and ask if he's up to saying anything on here--probably better to get the info straight from the source if he has the time, and if he's comfortable sharing.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 03/30/2015 11:41 pm by jongoff »

Offline dkirtley

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There will be a more complete NASA press-release coming out in the near future, but I can mention some of the highlights. MSNW is really excited to be a part of the NextStep BAA, this is the scale where pulsed electromagnetic thrusters are a good fit. This work will be a development and test of the ELF-250, a 100 kW-class EP  thruster and PPU (300+ kW system) aiming for Mars cargo missions. I think its time to find a bigger power supply . . .

Offline Danderman

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The history of such BAAs is very sad. I would be interested to learn the results of the last 20 years worth of such projects.

In particular, there was a BAA related to Exploration back around 2004 that crashed and burned. Maybe something useful came out of it, but I don't remember anything. Of course, this particular BAA is not related to any of the prior BAAs, so it might be the Best Thing Ever.


Offline jongoff

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There will be a more complete NASA press-release coming out in the near future, but I can mention some of the highlights. MSNW is really excited to be a part of the NextStep BAA, this is the scale where pulsed electromagnetic thrusters are a good fit. This work will be a development and test of the ELF-250, a 100 kW-class EP  thruster and PPU (300+ kW system) aiming for Mars cargo missions. I think its time to find a bigger power supply . . .

Thanks Dave!

Also, if you feel comfortable answering, is this plasma thruster one that uses your neutral injection technology to allow it to operate efficiently with non-traditional EP propellants (ie stuff you could get from ISRU at Mars or elsewhere)? Or is this just focused on getting a simpler version working that's optimized for traditional EP propellants like Xenon or Argon?

~Jon

Offline docmordrid

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Looks like Aerojets entry is completing NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster-Commercial (NEXT-C), a gridded ion thruster.

Link....
« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 05:15 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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There will be a more complete NASA press-release coming out in the near future, but I can mention some of the highlights. MSNW is really excited to be a part of the NextStep BAA, this is the scale where pulsed electromagnetic thrusters are a good fit. This work will be a development and test of the ELF-250, a 100 kW-class EP  thruster and PPU (300+ kW system) aiming for Mars cargo missions. I think its time to find a bigger power supply . . .
Very cool Dave! Congrats to MSNW for winning this contract! I am very excited about this! The ELF Thruster has always been one of my personal favorites.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 12:40 am by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline yg1968

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« Last Edit: 11/07/2015 02:44 am by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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At the November 4 2015 HEOC meeting, Crusan mentionned that the BAAs required 50% funding by the companies themselves. He also mentionned that the Boeing contract for its habitation project hasn't yet been completed.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2015 03:46 pm by yg1968 »

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