FAA Issues RFI for University Teams to Conduct Space Industry Research

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) is looking for information about industry teams capable of conducting research into specific space industry segments.

FAA AST issued a request for information (RFI) for university teams to “conduct research activities of historical event data collection and analysis (including single-case and cross-case studies)” for the following segments:

  • orbital launch vehicles for high payload masses (including human orbital transportation)
  • on-orbit capsules
  • on-orbit habitats.

The RFI lists additional industry segments that might be included in the future:

  • suborbital tourism
  • orbital launch vehicles for low payload masses (also referred to as smallsat launch
  • vehicles)
  • satellite constellations
  • spaceports
  • high-altitude balloons carrying people

“Intended respondents to this market survey include groups of individual principal investigators (PIs), representing different universities, working together within the structure of a research alliance. There must be more than one university represented in the alliance. The organizational structure and governance (control and coordination) of the alliance is left to the proposing individuals,” the RFI said.

“The alliance may or may not have a lead university, but one individual must be the research leader. In recognition of the desirability for industry context “closeness” by innovation foresight researchers of space industry segments, collaborative participation between business and engineering schools within a university may benefit this program,” the document added.

“To conduct research on these additional industry segments, additional members (including universities, governmental organizations, or private entities) may be added to the alliance,” the RFI said.

FAA AST is looking to award a contract or contracts for three years.

Access the full RFI: https://sam.gov/opp/a3e667ac54ab43ac98c8da2a894f82d1/view.