NASA is offering bidders the choice of contract type for the development of an International Space Station (ISS) deorbit module. The module, known as the United States Deorbit Vehicle (USDV), will be used to handle the final phases of deorbiting the ISS, currently scheduled for 2030. Bidders can choose between a “hybrid” contract approach, where the development phase is done under a cost-plus contract and production is done under a fixed firm price contract, or performing the entire work under a fixed firm price contract.
NASA offers choice of contract type for ISS deorbit vehicle
NASA has issued a call for proposals for the development of an International Space Station (ISS) deorbit module, known as the United States Deorbit Vehicle (USDV). Bidders have the choice of a “hybrid” contract approach or a fixed firm price contract for the development of the module. The base period for the contract runs through March 2031, with options for storage and launch integration services that would extend through September 2035.
Choosing the Contract Type
Bidders for the ISS deorbit module have the option to choose between a “hybrid” contract approach or a fixed firm price contract. The “hybrid” approach involves the development phase being done under a cost-plus contract, while production is done under a fixed firm price contract. Alternatively, bidders can choose to perform the entire work, including development, under a fixed firm price contract. NASA made this change to the request for proposals to “maximize value to the government and enhance competition.”
Importance of Reliability
NASA has emphasized the importance of reliability for the USDV due to its critical role in performing the final phases of the ISS deorbit. The USDV must be a new spacecraft design or a modification to an existing spacecraft that functions on its first flight and has sufficient redundancy and anomaly recovery capability. NASA has allocated $180 million for the USDV in its fiscal year 2024 budget proposal and hopes that competition will bring down the total cost, estimated to be around $1 billion.