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Science Office for Mission Assessments: Explorer (EX) Acquisition: Q&A

 

Explorer (EX) Concept Study Q&As

 
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Question79:   Does Requirement CS-67 apply to Civil Servant services, or the use of Government facilities or equipment, provided at no cost per the AO or PEA?
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Question78:   NPR 7120.5E was effective as of August 14, 2012. AMENDMENT TO EXPLORER CONCEPT STUDY GUIDELINES RE NEW 7120 REQUIREMENTS in the Guidelines states “For now, the applicable version for defining post-downselect planned work is the second version of NPR 7120.5D NID (NM 7120-97). If a newer version is approved by the Agency before CSR’s are due, instructions will be provided regarding the version that is applicable for this requirement.” Will there be any changes to Requirements CS-100 and CS-101, and/or are there any specific instructions?
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Question77:   Is a Fixed Price Option for the Bridge Phase as discussed in Q&A 70 a requirement?
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Question76:   As a followup to Q&A 69, how many electronic (CD or DVD) "review" copies are required?
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Question75:   Is there a document that provides a general flow of Launch vehicle activities? Also, is there a list of items that are required by the launch vehicle team, like interface details?
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Question74:   Is GN2 purge for the payload after shipment to KSC till launch part of the standard cost or mission unique?
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Question73:   Who is the commercial vendor at CCAFS for hydrazine fueling operations?
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Question72:   The "Launch Services Information Summary" PDF in the Explorer Program Library says that, under the ground rules for option A, the interface is a 38-inch separation system. However, the NLS LV planning tool (elvperf.ksc.nasa.gov) says that one of the assumptions for the performance estimation is a 66-inch payload adapter. Please expand on this apparent inconsistency. Are there cost impacts associated with particular separation systems?
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Question71:   Can you provide guidance on the timing of the Integrated Baseline Review (IBR)?
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Question70:   Are there any additional guidelines for preparing the Bridge Phase Proposal?
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Question69:   Can the 'ninety (90) paper “review” copies of the CSR' defined in Requirement CS-5 be relaxed?
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Question68:   Can you clarify what are considered detailed cost tables for Appendix M16? Should quotes and Basis of Estimate tables be included as both hardcopy and electronic?
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Question67:   For a Mission of Opportunity is the ISS considered the separate flight element with regards to Requirement CS-4? Can the use of ISS count for the 2 separate flight element pages since the interfaces/launch/configuration must be described?
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Question66:   With regards to Question 57, can you clarify if the FY13 funding limits are specified in Real Year 2013 $ of FY11$?
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Question65:   Please clarify the wording on page 19 of the CSR Guidelines v22, in section F.1 Level 1 Science Requirements with regards to Mission Success criteria and Level 1 requirements. Specifically the phrase, "Mission success criteria are based on the threshold science requirements. Level 1 requirements then would flow down from the mission success criteria. "
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Question64:   What is the correct version of the Education & Public Outreach Evaluation Factors document that should be used for the Explorer 2011 missions?
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Question63:   The answer to Question 21 indicates "the elimination of Falcon 1e and Falcon 1 … from option A" that contributed to the 11/4/11 update of the "Explorers 2011 AO ELV Launch Services Program Information Summary." However, "Figure 2 Option A 63" Fairing Static Envelope" was not changed to reflect the Falcon 1e and Falcon 1 elimination. Was a change warranted?
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Question62:   Will the Explorer office cover the cost of the mission’s Project Scientist?
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Question61:   If a project plans to use NASA High-End Computing facilities, will the time share allocation for the use of the supercomputer be considered a contribution by SMD?
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Question60:   Does each PI-led team have to cost out of the PI-Managed mission cost a Mission Manager and a Financial Manager out of the Explorer Office?
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Question59:   Can you clarify what qualifies for the 2 additional pages under Requirement CS-4? For example, would any of the following qualify for 2 additional pages: multiple copies of nearly-identical spacecraft, tethered portions of a main spacecraft, a supplemental propulsion flight system?
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Question58:   On page 2 of the CSR guidelines, the bridge phase is defined as lasting five months for full missions (4 months for MO). If the new guidelines specify a fixed amount of available dollars for ‘FY13, do the projects have the flexibility to extend the bridge phase to 6.5 months, to allow the bridge phase to coincide with the period of funding limitations?
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Question57:   Please describe the newly established limitations for FY2013 funding for the Astrophysics full Mission (EX) and Missions of Opportunity (MO).
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Question56:   What is the correct version of the Mission Assurance Requirements (MAR) document that should be used for the Explorer 2011 missions?
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Question55:   Where is the appropriate place within the CSR to provide documentation from the external NASA offices providing assessments of requirements, for example from the ISS Program Office, Balloon Program Office, or KSC Launch Services.
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Question54:   7120-97 lists a Formulation Agreement in Table C-3 as one of the Project Management, Planning, and Control Products for Phase A, noting that the Agreement should be Baseline for Phase B. Is this product required?
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Question53:   In Explorer_2011_Phase_A_Guidelines, Requirements CS-52 and CS-53 describe E/PO and Student Collaborations, including both that SC is identified as an E/PO element and that we demonstrate how the SC is separable from the rest of the mission. This document also describes that the student collaboration will be evaluated based on Explanatory Guide to the NASA Science Mission Directorate Educational Merit Evaluation Factors for Student Collaboration Elements (September 2007). In that document the factors for evaluation of the student collaboration proposal mentions goals and objectives.
 
What relationship should these goals and objective have to the overall E/PO program? Should the Student collaboration be a strategy to achieve the mission E/PO goals and objectives or should they be separate? A similar situation arises as far as evaluation goes...should there be separate evaluation for student collaboration and E/PO or should it be one coordinated effort?
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Question52:   How should MOs include the E/PO cost in the tables required in the Cost Proposal, since the E/PO cost is outside of the PI-Managed Cost? For example, where should we put WBS 11 in Cost Templates 1, 2, 3, 6?
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Question51:   Does the Explorers Program Office provide the funding for the Standing Review Board (SRB) Team members?
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Question50:   Should the EVM Threshold be calculated in real-year or fiscal-year dollars?
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Question49:   Requirement CS-89 states "Draft language for the technical content of any International Agreement(s) are required for all non-U.S. partners in the investigation. A sample agreement is available in the Program Library." But there is no sample in the Program Library. Will one be provided?
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Question48:   We don’t know what a ‘Bridge Phase Proposal’ is, it doesn’t seem to appear in the CSR guidelines. Can you provide a specific format for the bridge phase proposal? Where do we deliver this to?
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Question47:   Can the Co-Investigator personal letters of commitment be submitted electronically through email?
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Question46:   Can accommodations be made for the submission of a classified section within the heritage appendix?
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Question45:   Can the SEO subsection be moved into the Science Investigation section for the Missions of Opportunity? Particularly if the SEO doesnąt affect the instrument hardware?
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Question44:   In the guidelines, CS-62 says "The rows in the [Cost Table 1] shall be the NASA standard WBS elements", while the Cost Table 1 Template indicates that the cost is to be provided by "organizations". Please clarify whether these data are to be provided by WBS or by Organization. The text in the Guidelines for the CSR, with reference to Cost Table 1, was changed from the Explorer AO but the template for Cost Table 1 was not, so it is not clear what data are requested in this table. In Step 1 it was provided by "organization".
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Question43:   What is the due date for the Bridge Phase proposal?
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Question42:   SALMON PEA H7 stated “NASA is prohibited by law from purchasing non-U.S. launch vehicles, nor may NASA funds provided to an investigation be used to purchase a launch vehicle from a non-U.S. source.” Subsequently, both the Earth Venture - 2 and Draft SALMON-2 AOs appeared to impose additional restrictions by stating “Purchased payload accommodations must be obtained only on a spacecraft that will be launched on a U.S.-manufactured launch vehicle.” Please clarify the non-U.S. launch vehicles restrictions for EX 2011 MOs.
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Question41:   The structural requirements contained in Requirement CS-30 and CS-31 (f) appear out of phase with the NPR 7120.5D activities for Phase A Concept & Technology Development. The CSR requires an assessment of launch loads and the resulting structural margins with governing load cases.
 
Typically this level of subsystem design and analysis is planned for Phase B Preliminary Design & Technology Completion. Requiring this level of analysis for CSR is premature and any results based on a concept study would not seem credible. In addition, the launch environment for the two launch vehicle options has not been provided. Why is the Explorer Program imposing these requirements, which deviate from NPR 7120.5D?
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Question40:   The CSR Guidelines are very clear that the E/PO 6 page allocation and 5 page SC allocation are in addition to the 98 page allocation for full missions. What is the allocation for the SDB portion of that same appendix? Is it any number of pages? Are the SDB pages part of the 98 page allocation or in addition to it?
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Question39:   Given that the target decision month is February 2013, for the purpose of the detailed schedules to be provided in the CSR, what is the preferred start date of the Phase B Bridge Phase? March 1, 2013?
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Question38:   Is there a preferred work breakdown structure (WBS) for the E/PO costing?
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Question37:   Please provide information on the NPR 7120.5 Revision E rollout.
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Question36:   What is the allowed level of involvement of the JPL Exoplanet Exploration Program Office E/PO team in the current Astrophysics EX mission concept studies?
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Question35:   Is the reference to M.19 (Acronyms and Abbreviations) at the end of the following excerpt from page 3 of the Guidelines incorrect? Should it instead be M.4 (Phase B Contract Implementation Data)?
 
Upon a continuation decision, NASA will execute the Bridge Phase option and begin to provide Phase B funding for the project that is continued beyond the Phase A concept study. During the Bridge Phase, NASA and the continued project will negotiate and sign contract modification necessary for the remaining portion of Phase B. Deliverables for Phase B will be negotiated during the Bridge Phase, on the basis of information provided in the CSR (e.g., Sections J, K, and M.19).
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Question34:   Can you clarify the E/PO requirements for Missions of Opportunity as they were not required in SALMON? If this is a new requirement, will additional funds be added above the proposal Cap? Is it required to be a minimum of 1% of the cap? Are there any penalties if no E/PO program is proposed? If no
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Question33:   There is a concern about the level of support by the ISS Program office needed to successfully complete the Phase A CSR to the level required by the TMC evaluators. Specifically, TMC evaluates accommodations and access including view factors, volume, fields of view, etc. There is a concern that in order to develop these sufficiently, including any possible waivers, that the instrument may require an ISS Payload Integration Manager (PIM). Is the planned level of support sufficient, what will be the products of this support (e.g. waiver?), and how will this level of knowledge be transmitted to the TMC evaluators?
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Question32:   Is there any further guidance on tailoring the MAR for the MOs?
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Question31:   Both the Explorer 2011 AO (Section 5.2.2) and the SALMON AO (Section 4.5.1) speak of waivers from NPR 7120.5D NID. Please expand on the subject.
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Question30:   Cost Tables: The treatment of SEO costs is different among the six tables. For example, Table 6 includes the SEO costs explicitly, whereas Table 1 only has PI-managed costs and Contributions (no SEO costs). Yet the note at the bottom of Table 6 says the total should be same as that shown on Table 1. Are SEO and/or STEO costs to be included in tables 1, 2, 4, and 5? If so, on what line? Tables 2 and 5 have a line for "other", but there appears to be no appropriate place for SEO costs in Tables 1 and 4.
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Question29:   Requirement CS-12, page 16: Are the items in the bulleted list to be included on the “graphic cover page” of the CSR (a page which was optional for proposals responding to the SALMON AO) or on a “proposal cover page” at the beginning of the CSR (which was a required page under the SALMON AO)?
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Question28:   There is a concern about the level of support by the ISS Program office needed to successfully complete the Phase A CSR to the level required by the TMC evaluators. Specifically, TMC evaluates accommodations and access including view factors, volume, fields of view, etc. There is a concern that in order to develop these sufficiently, including any possible waivers, that the instrument may require an ISS Payload Integration Manager (PIM). Is the planned level of support sufficient, what will be the products of this support (e.g. waiver?), and how will this level of knowledge be transmitted to the TMC evaluators?
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Question27:   Requirement CS-65: The first sentence starts with "For Phase B only,...", but the last sentence of the paragraph ends with "...during each Phase of work". Please clarify which is correct.
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Question26:   Pg 33-34: "Elements of Cost Breakdown" In the discussion of the cost elements, there is no mention of 'employee benefits'. Should the cost of benefits be included under "Direct Labor", "Other Direct Costs", or "Indirect Costs"?
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Question25:   Appendix M.4 requires a SDB plan for Phases B-F. However, if selected, NASA intends to immediately issue a Phase B contract based on the data in Appendix M.4. Is a separate SDB Plan for just Phase B required to be submitted as part of Appendix M.4?
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Question24:   Appendix M.10 – Cartography (p.14) or Curation Plan (p.54)?
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Question23:   CSR Structure and Page Limits on page 14: Heritage Appendix M.14 is designated with an asterisk as being electronic only, yet under the Page Limit column, the list of electronic only appendices do not include Heritage Appendix M.14. Please clarify that the Heritage Appendix M.14 is electronic only.
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Question22:   Can the Explorer missions obtain supplemental propulsion through LSP via the NLS II contract?
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Question21:   Can a specific launch vehicle be assumed and is the Delta II available for the Explorer missions?
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Question20:   Requirement CS-4, page 13: The requirement states “In Sections E and F of the CSR, two extra pages each are allotted for each separate science instrument”. Are there two extra pages for every science instrument, including the first instrument? Or is it two extra pages for every science instrument in addition to the first instrument?
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Question19:   Requirement CS-9, page 15: Is this document (the CSR requirements checklist) included with the CSR or is it ONLY emailed to the Explorer Program Scientist?
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Question18:   Requirement CS-16, page 17 and CSR structure and page limits, page 14: The requirement states “This section shall describe the science investigation as specified by requirements B-15 through B-18 in Appendix B of the AO or Section VII in Appendix B of the SALMON AO plus section 6.2 of the PEA. If there are no changes from the Step 1 proposal, this section shall be reproduced identically from the Step 1 proposal”. While requirements B-15 through B-18 in Appendix B of the AO for the full missions are specifically related to the Science Investigation, Section VII in Appendix B of the SALMON AO for the MOs includes elements of both the Science Investigation and Science Implementation. Which elements of Section VII in Appendix B should be included in section E of CSR, and which elements should be moved to section F?
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Question17:   Science Implementation, page 17 and CSR structure and page limits, page 14: In the Step 1 proposals, the Science Investigation and Science Implementation sections had a combined page limit of 25 pages (20 for the MOs). In the CSR guidelines, the Science Investigation page limit has increased to 30 pages, and the Science Implementation page limit is now included with Mission Implementation, Management, etc. For the MOs, will the page limit be 30 increased to pages? This limit is surprisingly large if the Science Implementation is no longer included in the Science Investigation section.
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Question16:   Requirement CS-23, page 20: It seems that there would be substantial overlap between this section and the Data Management Plan included as Appendix M.5. Can the text in this section refer to items in Appendix M.5?
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Question15:   Requirement CS-25, page 20, section L, page 49: May a SEO/STEO be added during the Phase A Concept Study? Assuming such an addition is acceptable, would it have any impact on the Science evaluation or lead to a reevaluation of the Science, or would it only affect the Science Implementation evaluation?
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Question14:   Requirement CS-85, page 53: The final sentence of this requirement says “Also see Section J of Part II above for additional guidance.” It should be “Section K of Part II”.
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Question13:   There is no defined place to list the L2 requirements specified in factor B-8.
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Question12:   The revised version of NPR 7120.5D NID (NM 7120-97) has been released. Does it apply?
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Question11:   Please clarify which appendices are not applicable. We believe that appendices 9, 10, 21, 22, 23 are not applicable.
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Question10:   Requirement CS-23: There appears to something left out of the text since the last bullet ends with the word "and".
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Question9:  You added the following factor: “Factor C-8. Approach and feasibility for completing Phase B. The completeness of Phase B plans and the adequacy of the Phase B approach will be assessed. This assessment will include evaluation of the activities/products, the organizations responsible for those activities/products, and the schedule to accomplish the activities/products.” Can you provide any background regarding why this was called out, or any specific information about what you are looking for beyond what is normally provided in a Phase B plan? What has changed?
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Question8:   Please clarify the guidance for provision of reference documents such as those in the Explorer library and institution-specific documents such as the GSFC Gold Rules.
  1. The Step 1 AO as well as the CSR Guidelines indicate that this is not permitted: “It shall contain all data and other information that will be necessary for scientific and technical evaluations; provision by reference to external sources, such as Internet websites, of additional material that is required for evaluation of the proposal/CSR is prohibited.”
  2. This seems to contradict the direction for the optional list of references: “CSRs may provide, as an appendix, a list of reference documents and materials used in the concept study. The documents and materials themselves cannot be submitted, unless they are within the CSR's page limit. Investigation teams are encouraged to include an active URL for those documents available through the Internet.”
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Question7:   Can you clarify the apparent mismatch between the SALMON AO guidelines on handling NASA CM&O funds for Center projects (not to be included) and the CS Guidelines (to be included)?
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Question6:   Are changes allowed between Step 1 and Step 2 in the Student Collaborations or science or science/technology enhancement options? Can new ones be added or better defined?
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Question5:   How long is NASA HQ briefing?
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Question4:   Please provide more details on the site visit, how long will it be, approximately how many people will be attending?
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Question3:   Please clarify the process of changing team members during the Phase A Concept Study period, for example what is the notification process for adding a Co-Investigator?
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Question2:   Can you provide more detail on the Step 2 evaluation of Scientific Merit if there are no significant changes from Step 1? Specifically what is meant by the rating will be the same? Is this the adjectival rating, the full findings, overall evaluation, etc.?
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Question1:   Can you provide more detail on the magnitude of changes that would trigger a reevaluation of the Scientific Merit? For example, does adding new science objectives or augmenting current ones trigger science merit review? Does adding threshold in step 2 if not specifically defined in step 1, trigger science merit review?
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