NASA seeks info from industry as it looks at lunar, Martian infrastructure and exploration

March 30, 2023
Areas include space power systems, in-situ resource utilization, space prolusion, communications, and strategic integration.

WASHINGTON - The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and its Glenn Research Center has reached out to industry as it solicits potential sources for Surface infrastructure and Space Exploration Technologies (SISET) partnerships. The SISET solicits concept studies, basic and applied research and technology development and demonstrations in support of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). SISET is a potential omnibus covering all aspects of basic and applied supporting research and technology for lunar and Mars infrastructure and space exploration technology development and demonstration activities.

Research areas will be announced by issuing Appendices to this potential NASA Research Announcement (NRA), to include, but not limited to: studies to support mission architecture definition, new approaches to rapidly develop prototype systems, demonstration of key capabilities, and validation of operational concepts for future lunar missions.

NASA says it also may be interested in information related to and a design of a Fission Surface Power (FSP) Advanced Closed Brayton Convertor (ACBC) system with industry partners. Per NASA's Space Policy Directive 6 (SPD-6), the design will “…demonstrate a fission power system on the surface of the Moon that is scalable to a power range of 40 kWe and higher to support sustained lunar presence and exploration of Mars.”

This design effort shall culminate with each successful industry team submitting an FSP ACBC design package having engineering content sufficient to establish a high degree of confidence in the technical maturity, schedule, and cost. The design package shall include estimates for the technical, schedule, and cost requirements to design, build, and test a qualification unit (ACBCQU) and subsequent flight system (ACBC-FS). It is assumed that the ACBC-QU replicates the flight unit with sufficient fidelity to establish confidence in the key design features and demonstrate all critical aspects of the engineering design and functionality intended for the operational lunar unit. The ACBC-QU will be electrically heated with simulated nuclear fuel elements and should resemble a final nuclear fueled ACBC-FS in form, fit, and function to the maximum extent possible to establish confidence that the design will function in the expected lunar and Martian environment. Finally, the design package shall include a hardware development plan that identifies specific test facilities and material needs for accomplishing the ACBC-FS. Advanced technologies are strongly encouraged that increase performance, scalability, specific mass, and robustness.

More information and documents are available here: All contractual and technical questions must be submitted electronically via email to Ian Park, Contracting Officer at [email protected] not later than 7 April 2023. Please reference 80GRC023N0002 -SISET_Synopsis in any response. 

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