Request for Information on Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) recently established the Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program (CRuSR) Office at Ames Research Center (ARC). NASA recognizes the significant accomplishments of the commercial reusable suborbital spaceflight industry and is contemplating two significant procurement actions: 1) A potential procurement of reusable suborbital spaceflight services, and 2) a solicitation of research investigations that will utilize those commercial reusable suborbital spaceflight services. Researchers proposing to fly investigations on these vehicles will need information about the payload environment, flight profile and potential for human participation.

In this Request for Information (RFI), the NASA Ames CRuSR Office is requesting technical and programmatic input to improve the government’s understanding of flight opportunities to aid potential science investigators in scoping and designing possible future suborbital investigations.

Responses to this RFI are welcome from all interested parties, especially potential providers of suborbital spaceflight services. Suborbital spaceflight service providers should consider accommodation of flight experiments that address any of the following research disciplines:
  • Astrophysics
  • Earth Science
  • Heliophysics
  • Planetary Science
  • Space Life Science
  • Microgravity Science
  • Fundamental Space Biology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Materials Science
  • Technology Development
NASA may also consider funding research in other disciplines in the future.

For experiments, it is expected that NASA’s on-board payloads may require services such as power, data handling, telemetry, internal mounting surfaces, external attachments or ports, viewing portals, attitude control and pointing, day/night flight opportunities, and flight operations at remote field locations. NASA is aware that all such capabilities may not be available from every provider, but some of these capabilities may be available from each provider. NASA is interested in opportunities for externally-mounted experiments as well.

It is NASA’s intent to solicit reusable suborbital spaceflight services as early as 2010, which would lead to a pilot program of suborbital flight operations after flight opportunities become available. The Agency welcomes input from industry and other interested parties on approaches to procuring these services while allowing for continued private capital investment in this emerging market.

Responses to this RFI are requested by January 4, 2010, but updates are also requested on an on-going basis, as soon as new information is available.

For more information and instructions for responses to the RFI, visit: http://nais.msfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=138808

For more information about the Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program (CRuSR) Office at NASA Ames visit: http://suborbitalex.arc.nasa.gov