As NASA’s missions change, the agency is restructuring its contracting program, and contractors are anticipating a new intiative worth millions over nearly 10 years.
The initiative, known as the Test and Operations Support Contract or TOSC, covers ground systems work now being done as part of two other contracts, one held by Boeing and the other by the United Space Alliance.
It comes as NASA manages some big changes, including the end of its historic space shuttle program.
“NASA’s at a point ... [where they] have now taken a step back and they’re looking to see what direction they want to move in terms of their mission,” said Nathaniel Kulyk, a research analyst at Deltek, which analyzes the government contracting market.
The new program would provide NASA with services related to managing the ground systems used for flight launches, such as maintaining equipment, overseeing landings and performing simulations and experiments — the kinds of services that still will be required for remaining NASA programs and in the case of commercial launches.
Kulyk said the agency is set to release a draft of the solicitation by the end of this month, and the final one is expected in December. Under the planned schedule, NASA would receive proposals in February and then make an award in the fall.
More than 120 Deltek users have marked the program of interest. NASA has released its own list of interested companies, many of which are based locally. Among them are Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. and Dulles-based Orbital Sciences.