Persistence Pays Off For Houston-Based Company
NASA has awarded an interim letter
contract to Oceaneering International Inc. of Houston to begin work
on the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system
for the Constellation Program. The system will protect astronauts
during voyages to the International Space Station and exploration
of the moon's surface.
As ANN reported, Oceaneering International,
Inc. announced last August it intended to submit a revised proposal
to NASA for development and production of the Constellation Space
Suit System (CSSS) after its original contract award was
The letter contract requires Oceaneering International to begin
work on the basic period of performance while NASA and the company
negotiate the contract's final terms. The current award amount for
the performance of the letter contract is limited to $9.6 million.
It will become effective March 2 and be in effect until the full
contract is defined, no later than Aug. 29, 2009.
The defined contract will include the same basic period of
performance and contract options as those in the contract awarded
in June 2008. The project schedule has been updated to align with
the latest Constellation Program schedule. Changes also were made
to include Federal Acquisition Regulation and NASA Federal
Acquisition Regulation Supplement updates. The schedule updates
result in a basic period of performance of March 2009 to September
2015. The extension of the period of performance is required to
support the Constellation Program schedule.
Option 1 covers completion of design, development, test and
evaluation for the moon surface suit components. It has been
adjusted to begin in October 2011 and run through September 2020.
Option 2, the suit astronauts will wear in the Orion crew module,
provides for production, processing and sustaining engineering
under a cost-plus-award fee or a firm-fixed-price,
indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract structure. It
will begin at the end of the basic performance period in October
2015 and run through September 2020.
The spacesuit and support systems will provide protection
against the launch and landing environment and spacecraft cabin
leaks. The system offers the ability to conduct contingency
spacewalks. 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 multiple spacewalks during potential six-month
lunar outpost expeditions. Suits and support systems will be needed
for as many as four astronauts on moon voyages and as many as six
space station travelers.
Oceaneering is a global provider of engineered services and
products primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a
focus on deepwater applications. Oceaneering Space Systems, located
in Houston, TX immediately adjacent to NASA JSC, supports NASA in
training astronauts for extravehicular activity, and designs,
develops, tests, produces, and certifies astronaut equipment,
robotic systems, and thermal protection systems for NASA, the
Department of Defense, and commercial applications.