VADR (Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare) Launch Services
NASA is fostering growth in the U.S. commercial launch market, and enabling greater access to space for science and technology missions through the agency’s VADR (Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare) contract.
Building on the agency’s venture class approach, NASA is targeting lower launch costs for more risk tolerant science payloads by using less agency oversight and greater flexibility in how the commercial company manages the launch services for the mission.
In 2022, the agency selected 13 companies to provide VADR launch services. The Federal Aviation Administration-licensed commercial launch services will deliver risk tolerant payloads ranging from CubeSats to Class D missions – the least expensive and most risk tolerant of NASA’s four classes of missions. The low cost, and speed from idea to implementation, makes CubeSats and Class D payloads ideal platforms for technical and architecture innovation, contributing to NASA’s science research and technology development.
The breadth of launch providers available for VADR awards benefits the agency by allowing the rapid acquisition of competitively priced launch services for NASA and NASA-sponsored missions with firm-fixed-price task orders. The flexibility of VADR benefits launch providers by embracing commercial best practices, reducing the number of mission requirements compared to other agency missions, like those on the NASA Launch Services (NLS) II contract, and allowing rocket configurations with no prior demonstrated flight history to fly missions after completing an extensive NASA certification process.
NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida manages the VADR contract. LSP works with private industry, mission, and international partners to launch science payloads.
As part of VADR, the fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts have a five-year ordering period with a maximum total value of $300 million across all contracts.