The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is extending the deadline to submit bids on its next-generation space telecommunications contract, known as Advanced Enterprise Information Technology Solutions (AEGIS), according to an Oct. 7 announcement.
NASA posted a final request for proposal for AEGIS at the end of September and had initially set an Oct. 30 deadline for submissions. Officials issued an amendment to the RFP extending the deadline by more than two weeks to Nov. 17.
AEGIS will provide “the technical connective tissue to take us to the Moon and beyond,” according to a Sept. 30 industry briefing by Dr. Keith Keller, the program executive with NASA’s Communications Program.
The contract aims to upgrade NASA’s network infrastructure, enabling seamless voice and data communications between mission control and spacecraft in orbit and on missions throughout the solar system. The requirements call for the implementation of a zero-trust network architecture, the modernization of NASA data centers and migration to cloud services, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The contract represents the follow-on to its 10-year, $1.4 billion NASA Integrated Communications Services (NICS) contract held by Science Applications International Inc. AEGIS will also consolidate work from a second contract, Marshall Space Flight Center Information Technology Services II (MITS II), which has generated $137 million for All Points Logistics LLC since August 2016.
Despite the $1.8 billion combined ceiling value of its two incumbent contracts, AEGIS will carry a lower maximum value of $688 million, according to the RFP. However, NASA officials have the option to unilaterally raise AEGIS’s ceiling value by 20% if necessary, bringing the possible value to $826 million, according to the RFP.
Vendors’ proposals will be evaluated according to four factors: their management and organizational approach, technical approach and innovation, safety, and small business utilization. The winning vendor will be required to set aside at least 34% of all obligations to small-business subcontractors, including at least 15% to women-owned small businesses and at least 9% to HUBZone contractors, according to the briefing slides.