Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
“heavy-lift vehicle”
SLS Passes Milestone Reviews

America’s next heavy-lift launch vehicle — the Space Launch System — is one step closer to its first launch in 2017, following the successful completion of the first phase of a combined set of milestone reviews.

The SLS Program has completed step one in a combined System Requirements Review and System Definition Review — both extensive NASA-led reviews that set requirements to further narrow the scope of the system design and evaluate the vehicle concept based on top-level program requirements.


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  • April 3, 2012
TPIS Releases White Paper in Support of SLS Review

Tea Party in Space White Paper
Space Launch System Procurement Could Violate CICA

September 2011

Subject: De Facto Sole Sourcing of Space Launch System Would Violate Law

Summary: A violation of 41 U.S.C. 253 (the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984) will occur if NASA moves ahead with a decision to avoid full and open competition by implementing “de facto sole source awards” on the Space Launch System, which will cost anywhere from $111 to $322 billion in taxpayer funds, and potentially much more.


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  • September 28, 2011
Congressman Seeks GAO Investigation into SLS Contracting

California Rep. Tom McClintock is asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate NASA’s plans to use existing contractors for the Space Launch System instead of competitive bidding.

“I have serious concerns with NASA’s attempt to avoid holding a full and open competition to acquire the SLS,” McClintock wrote. “NASA is considering modifying and/or extending existing contracts for retired or cancelled programs resulting in one or more ‘de facto sole source awards.’ Some of those contracts were originally awarded on a sole source basis.


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  • September 27, 2011
NASA Releases SLS Acquisition Overview


Synopsis – Sep 22, 2011

General Information

Solicitation Number: SLS-0001
Posted Date: Sep 22, 2011
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Sep 22, 2011
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Sep 27, 2011
Current Response Date: Sep 27, 2011
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 336415 – Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Propulsion Unit and Propulsion Unit Parts Manufacturing
Set-Aside Code:

Contracting Office Address

NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Procurement Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812


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  • September 22, 2011
Senators Not Buying NASA’s Claims About Spawn of Shuttle

Earlier this week, NASA submitted a progress report that says it cannot build a shuttle-derived HLV within the time and budget restraints imposed by Congress. The politicians who mandated the vehicle clearly know better: Senate Commerce Committee Members, including Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Senator David Vitter (R-La.), today issued a joint statement responding to a NASA report […]

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  • January 12, 2011
NASA Goes Bold With Congress Over Spawn of Shuttle

Jupiter Direct Launcher Variants

When writers put words in BOLD it usually means that they want their readers to pay extra special attention to them. (Remember the BOLD text above and below. There will be a test.)

NASA did exactly that this week in a report on its plans for a heavy-lift vehicle:

Additionally, guidance from the NASA Administrator has established three principles for development of any future systems for exploration – namely that these systems must be affordable, sustainable, and realistic.


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  • January 12, 2011
Do We Need a Government-Build HLV?

Florida Today’s John Kelly asks an interesting question about NASA’s HLV rocket: Why in the world is NASA developing its own supersized rocket when no fewer than three private companies already have one on the drawing board? Decades of experience shows a big-ticket space project developed wholly by the government will: Take years longer than estimated to complete. Cost taxpayers billions more dollars than advertised. Fly with less capability than […]

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  • January 4, 2011
No Immediate Solution on Heavy-Lift Program

Jupiter Direct Launcher Variants

The Huntsville Times has an editorial titled, “It’s time to end NASA’s limbo,” in which it urges a quick action on finalizing the space agency’s budget and a rapid start of work on its heavy-lift program:

Congress and the White House then spent most of 2010 trying to agree on a direction for NASA. The end result, which should put the creation of a new heavy-lift vehicle in the hands of Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center, now appears to be stuck: There’s a direction, but a continuing resolution by Congress doesn’t specifically point money to the new heavy-lift program, which means work might not get off the ground.


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  • January 3, 2011
Congress May Not Get Heavy Lift Vehicle it Wants

Jupiter Direct Launcher Variants

It looks like a battle is heating up over exactly the type of heavy-lift vehicle that NASA will build. The Congressional authorization bill directs NASA to make use of technology developed for the Constellation and space shuttle programs. That means solid rockets designed in Alabama and built by ATK in Utah, thus preserving thousands of jobs in key Congressional districts. However, NASA has some other ideas.


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  • October 8, 2010
NASA Seeks Proposals on Heavy-Lift Vehicle

NASA has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeking proposals and industry input on heavy-lift system concepts and propulsion technology.

NASA is seeking an innovative path for human space exploration that strengthens its capability to extend human and robotic presence throughout the solar system. The information also may help lay the groundwork for humans to safely reach multiple potential destinations, including asteroids, Lagrange points, the moon and Mars.


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  • June 30, 2010