NASA to Leverage Air Force Contracting Vehicle for Hosted Payloads

In an effort to secure hosting space on a commercial satellite platform, NASA will leverage the HoPS (Hosted Payload Solutions) contracting vehicle underway with the U.S. Air Force.  The effort, which will be finalized in 2017 would initially support the launch of a pollution sensor for NASA over the United States.

As the first civilian agency to take advantage of the HoPS contracting vehicle, NASA’s $90 million Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) mission would work in conjunction with the Hosted Payload Office (HPO) at Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in El Segundo, CA.

The IDIQ contract will facilitate United States Government (USG) procurement of available hosting space aboard commercial satellites.  IDIQ contract awardees will consist of pre-qualified commercial providers and many of the contractual requirements would be pre-negotiated via the IDIQ.

“Based on the results of these studies, and on the developmental progress of the TEMPO instrument, NASA may choose to use the SMC [contracting vehicle] to secure an eventual host platform for the TEMPO instrument,” said NASA spokesman Steve Cole in a Space News article earlier this year.  “We expect that decision will be made sometime in 2014.”

Intelsat General Corporation has heard for a number of years that leveraging of hosted payload space on commercial platforms by the USG has been impeded by arduous USG contracting processes.  We are optimistic that the IDIQ approach will streamline this contracting process and yield benefits not only for the USAF, but also for civil agencies such as NASA and NOAA.

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