Concept Proposals For Ares V Heavy Lift Rocket Sought
On Monday, Jan. 5, NASA issued a request for proposal for the Ares V rocket that will perform heavy lift and cargo functions as part of the next generation of spacecraft that will return humans to the moon. The request is for Phase I concept definition and requirements development for the Ares V rocket. Proposals are due to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., no later than 1 p.m. CDT on Feb. 9.
The request for proposal defines the procurement approach for Phase I of the Ares V acquisition. The contract work will include developing products to enable NASA to successfully complete the system requirements review and system definition review, critical milestones in the development of the rocket. Completion of the system definition review will verify the design concept and demonstrate mission objectives can be met.
The solicitation includes five separate work packages available for bid. Work packages one through four include the payload shroud that will protect the Altair lunar lander during launch, the Earth Departure Stage, the core stage, and avionics and software. The products for these work packages include assessing point of departure architecture, assessing risks and opportunities, trade studies and analysis, assessment of NASA requirements and a final report. The fifth work package includes a first stage concept for an upgraded solid rocket fueled booster.
Marshall will manage the contracts, which will be awarded through a full and open competition. The selections will be made in the spring of 2009. The period of performance for each contract is 18 months with two, one-year options.
Image Caption: A concept image shows the Ares V cargo launch vehicle. The heavy-lifting Ares V is NASA’s primary vessel for safe, reliable delivery of large-scale hardware to space. This includes the Altair lunar lander, materials for establishing a permanent moon base, and the vehicles and hardware needed to extend a human presence beyond Earth orbit. Ares V can carry approximately 290,000 pounds to low Earth orbit and 144,000 pounds to lunar orbit. Image credit: NASA/MSFC
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