NASA intends to issue an Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) on March 21, 2014. NASA is developing concepts for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which would use a robotic spacecraft to capture a small near-Earth asteroid, or remove a boulder from the surface of a larger asteroid, and redirect the asteroid mass into a stable orbit around the moon. Astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft launched on the Space Launch System would rendezvous with the asteroid mass in lunar orbit, and collect samples for return to Earth.To support mission formulation and reduce risk and cost, this BAA solicits proposals for studies and related technology development activities in the following areas:
Asteroid capture system concepts using deployable structures and autonomous robotic manipulators. Rendezvous sensors that can be used for a wide range of mission applications including automated rendezvous and docking, and asteroid characterization and proximity operations. Commercial spacecraft design, manufacture, integration, and testing capabilities that could be adapted for development of the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV) or its main components such as the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) tug. Partnership opportunities for secondary payloads on either the ARV or the Space Launch System (SLS). Partnership opportunities for the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission or future missions in areas such as advancing science and in-situ resource utilization, enabling commercial activities, and enhancing U.S. exploration activities in cis-lunar space after the first crewed mission to an asteroid.
The duration of the studies is anticipated to be 180 days, with an interim report due in October. NASA may use the data resulting from this effort to inform the Asteroid Redirect Mission Concept Review (MCR), which is planned for late 2014 or early 2015.
Proposals shall be submitted electronically in Adobe PDF format to: HQ-Asteroid-BAA@mail.nasa.gov. Specific evaluation criteria, eligible participants, and submission information for each solicitation topic will be identified in the BAA. Proposals will be due on May 5, 2014.
To assist the planning of the proposal evaluation process, NASA strongly encourages the submission of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to propose by all prospective offerors. The NOI should contain the following information: name, address, telephone number, email address, and institutional affiliation of the offeror. NOIs are strongly encouraged, but are not required. Not submitting an NOI will not impact the selection process. NOIs shall be submitted to the email address given above by April 4, 2014.
An Asteroid Initiative Opportunities Forum will be held at NASA Headquarters on March 26, 2014, and proposers will have a chance to ask questions about this Announcement. The meeting agenda and registration information is posted on the BAA website at http://www.nasa.gov/asteroidinitiative