Boeing to Study Consolidation of NASA Space Operations

The Boeing Company has been awarded a contract to study the consolidation of NASA's space operations elements. The Phase 1 Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) will develop an integrated operations architecture that will explore the feasibility of shifting responsibility for various NASA space operations to one contractor in order to save money and free up funding for other NASA projects.

CSOC Phase 1 will address the total NASA space operations infrastructure, including all space operations elements currently managed by both contractors and NASA centers. The scope of Phase 1 includes development of processes, physical architectures, products, standard services, and integration of spacecraft/launch vehicle design and operations that will assure minimal life cycle costs.

"We have formed a very strong team with expertise in developing and operating complex systems for commercial as well as government customers," said John McLuckey, executive vice president of Boeing Defense & Space Group. "We intend to develop a superior operations architecture that will reduce costs while maintaining safe and robust space operations into the 21st century."

NASA awarded $4 million study contracts to Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and intends to use the study results to implement agency-wide space operations efficiency measures. The winning Phase 2 contractor will be a key participant in the implementation. NASA has said that the contract could potentially be worth $4-6 billion over the next 10 years. "Our CSOC concept leverages commercial practices and services with open architectural standards to enable a low-risk solution," McLuckey added. "We plan to achieve significant cost savings through appropriate applications of outsourcing, commercialization and privatization. At the same time, our approach will ensure that there is no impact to flight safety."

CSOC Phase 2 is a 10-year contract (5-year basic period and a 5-year priced option) that will implement the ground systems architecture and provide mission and data services to spacecraft projects and programs. Additionally, the CSOC services contractor will manage and operate the ground and space-based infrastructure required to provide these mission and data services. Implementation under Phase 2 calls for single contractor operations of more than 100 existing and planned spacecraft, including the Earth Observing System environmental monitoring satellites and the current fleet of seven Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).

The Boeing study will draw upon capabilities from throughout the company. It is being headed by the company's Systems Development Center, Seal Beach, Calif., and the lead implementing division is the Boeing Space Systems Division, Downey, Calif., and Houston, Texas.

Other Boeing organizations participating in the study are the Boeing Huntsville Division, Huntsville, Ala.; and Boeing Information Services, Vienna, Va. The Boeing team has also been augmented with the following team members: Lucent Technologies, Greensboro, N. C. for its expertise in communications technology and commercialization; KPMG, Houston, Texas, which has broad experience in re-engineering large information intensive organizations; SAIC, Inc., San Diego, Calif., an expert in software management; and PRC, McLean, Va. for their knowledge of the Deep Space Network and planetary mission operations.