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NASA Seeking Capability to Deorbit International Space Station

Request for information

NASA Seeking Capability to Deorbit International Space Station

NASA’s Johnson Space Center is seeking information on industry’s ability to build a spacecraft that can deorbit the International Space Station at the end of its life.

ISS operations are scheduled to conclude by 2030. NASA and its international partners plan to safely knock the spacecraft out of low-Earth orbit into a controlled descent in an unpopulated area, according to a request for information posted on SAM .gov.

While the station’s nominal end-of-life is in late 2030, NASA said it needs to acquire the deorbit capability as soon as possible to prepare for contingencies, such as a decision for an earlier re-entry.

According to the notice, the government needs industry to develop, manufacture and launch a deorbit vehicle that would attach to the ISS one year before the reentry date.

Responses to the RFI are due Sept. 9. Vendors are asked to provide information on preferred contract types, advantages of teaming arrangements, risks and liability, operational challenges, commercialization and existing capabilities, government-provided facilities and hardware and recommended proposal preparation time, among others.

The RFI fulfills one of NASA’s obligations under the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017. In January, the agency published a report highlighting the potential of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft to be used in the deorbiting.

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Category: Space