Author Topic: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)  (Read 36732 times)

Offline Markstark

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Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« on: 04/28/2018 12:06 am »
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=46b23a8f2c06da6ac08e1d1d2ae97d35&tab=documents&tabmode=list

This is just a draft RFP with very little details but pretty interesting. Firstly, I like the acronym ~ “clips”.

Appears to be aimed at Astrobotics, Moon Express and BO Blue Moon. Anyone else?

The timing of this draft RFP and cancellation of Resource Prospector may hint at a change in strategy to achieve the same goals.

Mods, please move to appropriate section if this isn’t the right place for it. Thanks!
« Last Edit: 04/28/2018 01:59 am by Markstark »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #1 on: 04/28/2018 10:59 am »
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=46b23a8f2c06da6ac08e1d1d2ae97d35&tab=documents&tabmode=list

This is just a draft RFP with very little details but pretty interesting. Firstly, I like the acronym ~ “clips”.

Appears to be aimed at Astrobotics, Moon Express and BO Blue Moon. Anyone else?

The timing of this draft RFP and cancellation of Resource Prospector may hint at a change in strategy to achieve the same goals.

Mods, please move to appropriate section if this isn’t the right place for it. Thanks!

I suspect that Nanoracks could submit a bid by acting as a space travel agent.

Masten Space Systems are developing several lunar landers under Lunar CATALYST. Since the CLIPS contract can last 10 years they may on ramp in 2 or 3 years time.

The launch vehicle supplies SpaceX and ULA may apply but they will probably subcontract to the lander companies. SpaceX's may bid its BFR upper stage as a cargo lander.

Offline Markstark

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #2 on: 04/28/2018 12:15 pm »
You’re right. I hadn’t realized this RFP was that expansive. There will likely be team-ups between companies to address the various capabilities required to get a payload to the surface of the moon

Offline speedevil

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #3 on: 04/28/2018 12:37 pm »
Skimming it - contract value between $25K and $2.5B. That's a range!  (p9)
They can make orders under this contract for 10 years following the contract signature.

This is _extraordinarily_ broad.
Page 78 is where the meat starts.
'At least 10kg of intact landed payload before Dec 31 2021'

That is almost the sum total of actual requirements, other than 'tell us how you're going to do this'.

This can cover anything from '10kg of ...' to thousand ton moonbases (if you think you can get them in at $2.5B).

Dec 31 2021 is in the range where BFS will hopefully be flying and fully debugged if it's to make Mars 2022.
It might even be in the range BFR is testing.

NA hopefully will be online, as will vulcan.

BFS doesn't even need to land to do a compelling mission under this contract, kick fifteen tons out of the airlock at 50m and airbag it down.

Or even tiny landers based around the rocketlabs electron.

Offline Markstark

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Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #4 on: 04/28/2018 12:46 pm »
Skimming it - contract value between $25K and $2.5B. That's a range!  (p9)
They can make orders under this contract for 10 years following the contract signature.

This is _extraordinarily_ broad.
Page 78 is where the meat starts.
'At least 10kg of intact landed payload before Dec 31 2021'

That is almost the sum total of actual requirements, other than 'tell us how you're going to do this'.

This can cover anything from '10kg of ...' to thousand ton moonbases (if you think you can get them in at $2.5B).

Dec 31 2021 is in the range where BFS will hopefully be flying and fully debugged if it's to make Mars 2022.
It might even be in the range BFR is testing.

NA hopefully will be online, as will vulcan.

BFS doesn't even need to land to do a compelling mission under this contract, kick fifteen tons out of the airlock at 50m and airbag it down.

Or even tiny landers based around the rocketlabs electron.

I was struggling to find the meat in that large document. Good job! I think the broadness helps NASA avoid standing up various programs for different aspects of getting payloads to the surface. This is a catch all and I think companies can take a big bite and address the end to end scope or take a little bite and just pitch a lander.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
« Last Edit: 04/28/2018 12:48 pm by Markstark »

Offline jpo234

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #5 on: 04/29/2018 08:43 am »




Dec 31 2021 is in the range where BFS will hopefully be flying and fully debugged if it's to make Mars 2022.
It might even be in the range BFR is testing.

NA hopefully will be online, as will vulcan.


No way that NA will fly by that date. This is when Blue wants to start regular NG missions.

You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline su27k

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #6 on: 04/29/2018 11:30 am »
Here's my reading of the current commercial lunar plan based on FY19 budget document, it seems there will be two commercial tracks:
1. The first one is CLPS, this is run by SMD, it's like CRS and just buys the capability, and mainly aimed at small landers.
2. The 2nd one is run by HEOMD under the title Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities (ACSC), it would be similar to COTS or CCDev and it would part of NextSTEP. This would be aimed at mid and large landers.

If this reading is correct, I think SpaceX and Blue Origin may be joining the 2nd track instead of this one.


Offline speedevil

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #7 on: 04/29/2018 12:31 pm »
1. The first one is CLPS, this is run by SMD, it's like CRS and just buys the capability, and mainly aimed at small landers.
2. The 2nd one is run by HEOMD under the title Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities (ACSC), it would be similar to COTS or CCDev and it would part of NextSTEP. This would be aimed at mid and large landers.

If this reading is correct, I think SpaceX and Blue Origin may be joining the 2nd track instead of this one.

There seems to be no mass cap on the first track, and 2.5bn maximum contract value does offer interesting possibilities that are clearly not meant to (one hopes) be awarded with only a 10kg payload.

At that price, SpaceX can bid for a hundred tons to lunar surface, with a BFS that can only barely make orbit and has no heatshield,  fuelled by falcon heavy and probably more than break even. (BFS remains on moon). (there are clearly better architectures if you go into customising things).

Of course, if BFR is fully working by that date, capabilities go up rather.
Both contracts are interesting.



Offline Archibald

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #8 on: 04/29/2018 01:58 pm »
Quote
1. The first one is CLPS, this is run by SMD, it's like CRS and just buys the capability, and mainly aimed at small landers.
2. The 2nd one is run by HEOMD under the title Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities (ACSC), it would be similar to COTS or CCDev and it would part of NextSTEP. This would be aimed at mid and large landers.

We have accronyms overload here.  :o 
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #9 on: 05/02/2018 06:39 am »
More information, from the eLibrary page.

Final RFP ~7/19/18
Proposals due ~8/20/18
Contract award ~12/31/18

CLPS Industry Day schedule (May 8th, NASA Headquarters):

8:30am Welcome
8:45am Lunar Payload Services Concept
9:15am Lunar Payload Development
9:45am Lunar Lander Development
10:15am Lunar Strategy Wrap-up
10:30am CLPS DRFP Overview
11:15am CLPS Open Q/A (to be written up and posted back the the eLibrary page)
12:00pm Lunch
1-4pm CLPS 1-on-1 meetings with industry (~15m each)

Offline speedevil

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #10 on: 05/02/2018 10:37 am »
11:15am CLPS Open Q/A (to be written up and posted back the the eLibrary page)
I note the 'submit a question' link on that page, if you're feeling cheeky.
The meeting being in an auditorium suggests it's going to be open to the public, is this usual?
Eyewitnesses or even a recording (perhaps a question to ask) would be very interesting.

It is perhaps unfortunate that BFS hops are unlikely to be demonstrated before contract award.

On the other hand, perhaps someone will make a stab at a proposal using in-flight fuel transfer, which would help to slay the TRL beast if successful.

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #11 on: 05/04/2018 07:31 am »
woot, there was apparently a lot of interest in the Industry Day, so WebEx access will be provided for anyone who can't attend in person. Bridenstine will also be giving a plenary talk at 2:30pm.

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #12 on: 05/04/2018 03:45 pm »
woot, there was apparently a lot of interest in the Industry Day, so WebEx access will be provided for anyone who can't attend in person. Bridenstine will also be giving a plenary talk at 2:30pm.

Note also that they've doubled the amount of slots available for interested party meetings, from 12 up to 24.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #13 on: 05/04/2018 07:48 pm »
spacenews.com/nasa-argues-resource-prospector-no-longer-fit-into-agencys-lunar-exploration-plans/

Below is a couple of extracts/quotes from article. Good news for Moon Express, Astrobotic and Masten as all these companies are offering landers in 30kg payload range. The article says the odd failure is acceptable even expected. Moon Express quoted $10m for MX1E on Electron, but it would need LauncherOne to deliver 30kg at $15-20m (I guessed this price).


“He wants to have two ‘shots on goal’ every year starting in 2019,” Jurczyk said of Zurbuchen. “We want to challenge industry to develop the first landers to deliver some amount of kilograms of science instruments and exploration instruments to the surface of the moon in ’19, in ’20, in ’21, in ’22.”

That expectation, as well as the limited payload accommodations on initial commercial landers — tens, rather than hundreds, of kilograms, he said — will put restrictions on the types of payloads NASA will fly on those landers. “The instrumentation needs to be appropriate for the tool that we’re using,” he said. “We’re not going to invest $100 million in an instrument, even if it fits into 10 kilograms. Not at the beginning.”
« Last Edit: 05/04/2018 07:53 pm by TrevorMonty »

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #14 on: 05/04/2018 08:36 pm »
Perhaps related to CLPS, a NASA official and Kilopower PI stated that their goal was to flight-test a reactor on a lunar lander in the mid-2020s. IMHO, the likelihood of that ever happening would be magnified several times over if it was flown on a commercial lander only partly funded by NASA. I'll have to ask a question about that on the Industry Day.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-considering-flight-test-of-space-nuclear-reactor-technology/

Offline testguy

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #15 on: 05/04/2018 08:47 pm »
This is an IDIQ contract, known in the industry as “an empty bag”.  You bid on it and win and there is no guarantee that the customer will fund any of it.  Without a clear path forward to return to the Moon that would not surprise me.  I wouldn’t get too excited about this yet.  Just my opinion.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2018 02:40 pm by testguy »

Offline brickmack

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #16 on: 05/05/2018 12:01 am »
woot, there was apparently a lot of interest in the Industry Day, so WebEx access will be provided for anyone who can't attend in person. Bridenstine will also be giving a plenary talk at 2:30pm.

Never used WebEx before, does this mean the general public can watch? Theres a username and password listed in that document

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #17 on: 05/05/2018 12:09 am »
woot, there was apparently a lot of interest in the Industry Day, so WebEx access will be provided for anyone who can't attend in person. Bridenstine will also be giving a plenary talk at 2:30pm.

Never used WebEx before, does this mean the general public can watch? Theres a username and password listed in that document

It does! It's mainly meant for interested applicants that can't come in person, but journalists or interested forum-goers are probably welcome, within reason. I wouldn't share it on a large forum, as it's notoriously unreliable and might get DDoSed if too many people try to use it lol :o

Online edzieba

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #18 on: 05/08/2018 09:35 am »
Perhaps related to CLPS, a NASA official and Kilopower PI stated that their goal was to flight-test a reactor on a lunar lander in the mid-2020s. IMHO, the likelihood of that ever happening would be magnified several times over if it was flown on a commercial lander only partly funded by NASA. I'll have to ask a question about that on the Industry Day.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-considering-flight-test-of-space-nuclear-reactor-technology/
I'd have said the opposite: the Kilopower design relies on HEU (I'm not sure if the percentage is public knowledge, but I've seen anywhere from "above 20%" to "90%" enrichment quoted). That adds a whole pile of proliferation-related  headaches onto anything you want to do with that reactor and anything associated with it.

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #19 on: 05/08/2018 10:24 am »
Perhaps related to CLPS, a NASA official and Kilopower PI stated that their goal was to flight-test a reactor on a lunar lander in the mid-2020s. IMHO, the likelihood of that ever happening would be magnified several times over if it was flown on a commercial lander only partly funded by NASA. I'll have to ask a question about that on the Industry Day.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-considering-flight-test-of-space-nuclear-reactor-technology/
I'd have said the opposite: the Kilopower design relies on HEU (I'm not sure if the percentage is public knowledge, but I've seen anywhere from "above 20%" to "90%" enrichment quoted). That adds a whole pile of proliferation-related  headaches onto anything you want to do with that reactor and anything associated with it.

It's undoubtedly a large hurdle, but far from insurmountable. NASA is clearly at least moderately interested in Kilopower (they pretty much have to be if they want to look like they care about human exploration), and CLPS offers the possibility of billion-dollar public-private cost-sharing contracts, and the cost associated with getting past the bureaucratic hurdles of nuclear power in space is really the biggest fundamental show-stopper. Call me an optimist-out-of-necessity...

More importantly, Kilopower can be modified to work with LEU. Cuts margins for error, kills the elegance, and adds mass, but it's a viable alternative to HEU if political barriers prove impenetrable. PI discusses that briefly in an email quoted here.
https://beyondnerva.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/krusty-we-have-fission-kilopower-part-iii/

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