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A--COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT - STRATOSPHERIC OBSERVATORY FOR INFRARED ASTRONOMY{SOFIA}

Solicitation Number: NNH14ZDA005L
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Office: Headquarters
Location: Office of Procurement (HQ)
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NNH14ZDA005L
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Added: Apr 01, 2014 8:39 am
Request For Information

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Armstrong Flight Research Center (NASA/AFRC) is hereby requesting information regarding potential partners interested in the use of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) to conduct scientific investigations or for other potential uses.

Background

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is the world's largest airborne astronomical observatory, complementing NASA's space telescopes, as well as major Earth-based telescopes. SOFIA features a German-built far-infrared telescope with an effective diameter of 100-inches (2.5 meters). The telescope weighs 19 tons (38,000 lb) and is mounted in the rear fuselage of a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft.

Flying at altitudes of between 39,000 to 45,000 feet (12 14 kilometers) and above 99 percent of the water vapor in the atmosphere, SOFIA facilitates observations that are unobtainable from telescopes on the ground. Because SOFIA can fly virtually anywhere in the world, change instruments between flights, and implement new capabilities, it provides greater adaptability than any space-based telescope.

The SOFIA is a joint program of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR - Deutsches Zentrum fr Luft- und Raumfahrt). The program is managed at NASA's Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center Building 703 in Palmdale, CA, where the aircraft is based. NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA, manages the SOFIA science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association in Columbia, MD, and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Presidents fiscal year 2015 Budget Request to Congress calls for SOFIA to be placed in storage in fiscal year 2015 unless partners can be found to replace the U.S. contribution to the project.

Partnerships

NASA is now in the process of seeking out potential partners interested in joining the NASA/DLR team. Partnerships on various levels will be considered. Partnerships could range from joining as a major partner to securing flights on a night-by-night basis. Costs are estimated at approximately $1M per night for a dedicated mission. Due to the current budget situation, partnership arrangements would be initiated immediately in order to be in place prior to the start of the next fiscal year (October 1, 2014). Interested parties are invited to submit their interest or questions in writing to Dr Paul Hertz as soon as possible, but prior to May 1, 2014.

Paul Hertz (paul.hertz@nasa.gov) Director, Astrophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate Mail Suite 3U23, NASA HQ, Washington, DC 20546-0001 Fax: 202-358-3062

SOFIA Observatory Information

NASA maintains a number of documents that may be helpful in understanding the current capabilities of the SOFIA aircraft, the telescope onboard, and the associated scientific instruments at the following websites:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/SOFIA/< /A> http://www.sofia.usra.edu/

Industry Day

An opportunity to meet with the SOFIA Program staff and tour the actual SOFIA aircraft is currently scheduled for April 11, 2014, at NASA's Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center Building 703 in Palmdale, California (located in Southern California near Los Angeles). A number of SOFIA briefings will be given providing potential partners with indepth understanding of the program, the science, the aircraft, the staff, operational costs, life-cycle costs, the operation, and potential partnership mechanisms.

Parties interested in participating in the SOFIA Industry Day are requested to contact our Visitor point of contact below as soon as possible in order to help you reserve a place and for assistance in making visit arrangements:

Beth Hagenauer (beth.hagenauer-1@nasa.gov) Public Affairs Specialist TYBRIN/Jacobs NASA Armstrong Office of Strategic Communications Office: 661-276-7960

No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in the Federal Business Opportunities and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offerors responsibility to monitor these cites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL. THIS IS NOT A FORMAL PROCUREMENT AND, THEREFORE, IS NOT A SOLICITATION. THIS NOTICE IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS A COMMITMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT TO ULTIMATELY ISSUE AN INVITATION FOR BID, REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, REQUEST FOR QUOTE, OR CONTRACT.

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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771
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Dr Paul Hertz, Director Astrophysics Div Sci Mission Directorate, Phone 202-358-0986, Fax 202-358-3092, Email paul.hertz@nasa.gov

Dr Paul Hertz