NASA Cancels Lunar Spacesuit Contract Award To Oceaneering, After Exploration Systems & Technology Protest To GAO

NASA canceled its $183.8 million contract award to Oceaneering International Inc. for lunar spacesuits, after a rival bidder, Exploration Systems & Technology, Inc., successfully protested the June 12 contract award. Exploration complained to the referee for contract disputes, the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The space agency announced it concluded corrective action is appropriate in the GAO bid protest.

NASA "determined that a compliance issue requires the termination of the contract for the Constellation Space Suit System with Oceaneering International, Inc. of Houston for the convenience of the government."

Subcontractors to Oceaneering would have included Air-Lock Inc. of Milford, Conn., David Clark Co. of Worcester, Mass., Cimarron Software Services Inc. of Houston, Harris Corp. of Palm Bay, Fla., Honeywell International Inc. of Glendale, Ariz., Paragon Space Development Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., and United Space Alliance of Houston, which is a joint venture of The Boeing Co. [BA] and Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT].

The Constellation program is producing the hardware for the next-generation U.S. spaceship that will go to low Earth orbit and then on to the moon.

NASA, in the Constellation Program, is leading development of the Orion space capsule by Lockheed. Orion and the Altair lunar lander will be boosted by the Ares rocket that will have various components developed by Boeing, Alliant Techsystems Inc. [ATK], and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a unit of United Technologies Corp. [UTX].

"NASA anticipates that corrective action will involve reconsideration of its procurement decision," NASA stated. But just how much the competing contractors will be permitted to change their bids is unclear.

The pending protest litigation is subject to a GAO protective order.

Whichever company makes the suits, the winning bid likely will be for $175 million to $200 million.

Suits will protect astronauts during Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and, by 2020, the surface of the moon.

The suit contract is for design, development, test, evaluation and production of equipment to support astronauts aboard the Orion crew exploration vehicle, the Altair lunar lander, and during human exploration of the surface of the moon.

Suits and support systems will be needed for as many as four astronauts on moon voyages and as many as six space station travelers. For short trips to the moon, the suit design will support a week’s worth of moon walks. The system also must be designed to support a significant number of moon walks during potential six-month lunar outpost expeditions. In addition, the spacesuit and support systems will provide contingency spacewalk capability and protection against the launch and landing environment, such as spacecraft cabin leaks.

Raytheon Gains $34.4 Million Patriot Modernization Contract

The Army gave Raytheon Co. [RTN] a $34.4 million contract to continue modernizing the Patriot air and missile defense system.

The Army Aviation and Missile Command contract for additional upgrades is part of a $310 million "Pure Fleet" contract Raytheon received in December. It enables continuation of upgrading Army Patriot equipment to state-of-the-art Patriot Configuration 3 status.

Other nations also are upgrading their Patriot assets.

Air Force Provides $15 Million Contract For Plug-N-Play Electronics Research, Development

The Air Force gave Micro-Sat Systems, Inc. a $15 million contract for research and development into plug-n-play electronics.

Micro-Sat, of Littleton, Colo., and its subcontractor Advanced Solutions Inc., will work to develop plug-n-play applications.

Specifically, they will develop modular flight software and continue development of a robust software architecture that takes advantage of various software modules to address the wide range of mission needs, evaluate wireless data and power transfer technologies for plug-n-play application.

They will develop thin film deployable solar arrays to provide additional power.

Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., handles the contract.

Northrop Receives Up To $25 Million To Support NASA Global Hawks

NASA gave Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] a five-year contract worth up to $25 million to support NASA Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles.

Northrop will share in the use of the Global Hawks to conduct its own flight demonstrations for expanded markets, missions and airborne capabilities, including integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace.

Awarded by Dryden Flight Research Center, the contract provides support for the UAVs that NASA will use for Earth science research.

The contract supports NASA in operating two Global Hawks, their associated ground control station and related systems. Northrop technical assistance will include analysis, design support for unique systems, simulations, software development and engineering, and operational and manufacturing support.

Under a Space Act Agreement signed in April, NASA and Northrop are bringing to flight two pre-production Global Hawks for NASA research activities. NASA will use the autonomously operated unmanned aircraft for missions supporting its Science Mission Directorate and the Earth science community that require high-altitude, long-endurance, long-distance airborne capability.

The Global Hawks were transferred to NASA last September by the Air Force, which had no further requirements for the pre-production aircraft. They were among the first seven built during the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.

NASA Gives Securiguard $95.4 Million Contract

Center Gets Up To $41 Million Custodial Pact

NASA gave Securiguard, Inc., of McLean, Va., a $95.4 million firm-fixed price contract for security operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and its annexes.

They include Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex, Cocoa Beach Tracking Annex, Fort Pierce Microwave Relay Annex, Malabar Transmitter Annex, Melbourne Beach Optical Tracking Annex, Stuart Microwave Relay Annex, Port Canaveral Cable Terminal Annex, and Wabasso Microwave Relay Annex.

The contractor will provide a fully trained, armed, and uniformed security force whose capability and quality meet Air Force standards.

Securiguard will protect the capability to launch, and protect national, Department of Defense and commercial space-lift resources.

The company also will provide command and control of security forces, dedicated response to protection level 1-4 resources, and installation and restricted area entry control, and the firm will maintain law and order.

The company also will provide law enforcement patrols and traffic enforcement; provide security for launch and hazardous operations; manage and operate the Security Force Control Center; monitor and survey installation electronic security systems; provide marine security operations; develop installation security plans and procedures; provide resource protection; Pass & ID services; and perform services during crisis and contingency.

Separately, NASA announced Brevard Achievement Center Inc., of Rockledge, Fla., will provide custodial services at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The new firm-fixed price contract begins Oct. 1. It has a one-year base period and four, one-year option periods. The maximum value of the contract is approximately $41 million.

Brevard Achievement Center will provide custodial services for approximately 2.6 million square feet of general office, shop, warehouse and support areas at the space center.