NASA Presolicitation Notice: Dexterous Space Robotics Research

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Thursday, July 21, 2005

General Information

Document Type: Presolicitation Notice
Solicitation Number: HST-CAN-001-GDJ
Posted Date: Jul 20, 2005
Original Response Date: Aug 04, 2005
Current Response Date: Aug 04, 2005
Original Archive Date: Jul 20, 2006
Current Archive Date: Jul 20, 2006
Classification Code: A -- Research & Development

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 210.S, Greenbelt, MD 20771


NASA GSFC plans to award a cooperative research agreement on a sole source basis to the University of Maryland for research and technology development in the area of dexterous robotic manipulation for space applications. This cooperative agreement will establish a Space Robotics Institute, in which the University of Maryland's role will be to a) apply their unique and extensive experience in dexterous space robotics, satellite assembly and servicing, machine vision, microelectronics and optoelectronics fabrication, and space flight hardware development, to develop gap-filling technologies for dexterous space robotics through breadboard validation, b) perform environmental testing for these technologies using their unique laboratory facilities for thermal, vacuum, and accelerated life tests, etc., c) integrate these technologies into their unique system-level dexterous robot testbeds (1-g and neutral buoyancy) and perform high-fidelity performance measurements for the integrated systems, and d) quantify and report on the resulting robot capabilities for use in NASA programs. The cooperative agreement will also allow for the formation of university and industry partnerships to provide best-in-class key technologies and capabilities that are needed to satisfy the objectives of the cooperative agreement. The University of Maryland's Space Systems Laboratory (SSL) is uniquely qualified to perform these dexterous space robotics technology efforts based on their specialized expertise obtained from numerous related research projects, including the Ranger Telerobotic Shuttle Experiment. In addition, the University of Maryland SSL possesses unique facilities for development and testing of space qualified robotic technologies, including their Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, which allows the long-term simulation of the microgravity environment of orbital flight, and other specialized tools for analyzing robot architectures. The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. See note 26 and note 22. Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. local time on the response date listed above. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government. Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice. All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency. An Ombudsman has been appointed. See NASA Specific Note "B". Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

Carlos R McKenzie, Contracting Officer, Phone (301) 286-0599, Fax (301) 286-1779, Email - Sandra L Marshall, Procurement Manager, Phone (301) 286-8085, Fax (301) 286-1670, Email

Email your questions to Carlos R McKenzie at

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