XHAB Questions - 2019

Updated 04/09/2018

General Qustions

Project Specific Questions


General Questions

Q: If we apply to multiple projects and are award for both can we decline one?

A: Teams should be prepared to execute work for which they propose and identify any potential synergies or benefits of collaborative efforts across projects if there is alignment.

 

Q: Apart from the details provided on the required information to be included with the proposal, is there a required format for the proposals?

A: See section 4.1 of the solicitation.

 

Q: Are any or all of the SDR, PDR, and/or CDR performed with in-person presentations at JSC, or are they done over Skype or similar software, etc?

A: They are typically performed virtually using combinations of desktop sharing and audio and/or video conferencing tools.  Proposing schools may budget for one or more NASA site visits for research, presentation, and/or final delivery purposes. 

 

Q: If the presentations for SDR, PDR, and/or CDR are in-person, will the budget need to include funding for those traveling?  If so, how many personnel are required to present?

A: Proposing schools may budget for one or more NASA site visits for research, presentation, and/or final delivery purposes.  That is a determination made by the team for number of personnel required to travel to present their efforts

 

Q: Who is the audience for the SDR, PDR, and CDR reports and presentations?

A: There is a NASA advising team from the project sponsor that will support those reviews and the team’s efforts. 

 

Q: Are all presentations to be performed by the students to NASA personnel, or are any to be performed by the PI?

A: They are typically performed by the student teams with some coordination and/or introduction from the PI

 

Q: As is the case with the design process, is it acceptable to present more than one leading design at the SDR?  The plan would then be to present the single leading design at the PDR, and then of course a more detailed finalized design of the same option would be presented at CDR.

A: Yes

 

Q: Not having a finalized design makes it very difficult to provide a detailed budget since the quantity of materials would still be unknown.  What level of detail is expected for the budget?

A: This is inherent in any proposal, and reasonable assumptions should be stated to provide the basis of estimate.

 

Q: Within the Phase I Evaluation Criteria - the first item is to identify a project title.  Is this simply the title of the challenge for which I would like to propose, or a team specific/unique title that the students come up with?

A: Either one.

 

Q: Is it allowed to seek additional funds from other sources after the challenge has initiated and initial amount has been awarded?  If it is believed that the level of funding provided only from the challenge is initially sufficient, but additional costs arise, can additional funds be sought after from other supplemental sponsors?

A: The X-Hab challenge provides a fixed amount, and the proposing teams may garner more leveraged resources from other sources as part of the proposal or during project execution as warranted.

 

Q: On page 6 of the Solicitation document, one of the main objectives listed (#4) includes providing a final report.  Is that final report the same as the CDR report and presentation, or is there an additional report that will be required?

A: Please reference 3.5 and 3.6 of the solicitation for the 5 milestone reviews and deliverables associated with them.

 

Q: Is there a requirement as to the number of events where we would need to be engaged with K-12 students?  There are NASA related activities at the local library, would participating in those events be acceptable?

A: This is left to the discretion of the proposing teams how it adds value to their outreach efforts

 

Q: Is there an avenue for providing additional questions after the responses are provided on April 10th and prior to the selection of the challenge winners?

A: No.

 

Q: Does the prize have to be a one year long course involving students senior undergrad or grad? Can it be one semester one? Can it be instead an independent study, or research team of faculty and students?

A: The proposal must be led by a faculty member who is an U.S. citizen and is currently teaching in an ABET accredited engineering program. The majority of the students involved in the team must be upper division undergraduates or graduate students enrolled in and receiving credit in the design course taught by the faculty lead. A major feature of this program is that students are in the critical path.  The project milestones dictate that the work be carried out over the course of a full academic year.

 

Q: Can projects lead to, or combine with, further course development and collaboration/research collaborations outside the deliverables of the course itself?

A: The solicitation contains required milestones and deliverables that span one academic year.  The Principal Investigator may choose to continue their work after the completion of the contract.  Involvement of the NASA provided mentor past the completion of the project is at the discretion of the NASA mentor.

 

Q: Can a project last more than one year?

A: The solicitation contains required milestones and deliverables that span one academic year.  The Principal Investigator may choose to continue their work after the completion of the contract.  Involvement of the NASA provided mentor past the completion of the project is at the discretion of the NASA mentor.

 

Q: Would the prize fund the salaries of the student/faculty teams or only the materials for built prototypes?

A: It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to develop and propose a budget that will provide adequate resources to conduct the proposed work. These resources may include but not necessarily be limited to direct labor, subcontracts, consultants, equipment, supplies, travel, indirect costs and other items. Part of the review process will be the evaluation of how the proposed budget provides adequate resources for the proposed work as well as the alignment of the budget with the overall objectives of the program.

 

Q: Can we select a NASA/industry team or are there already defined interested parties?

A: Multi-discipline, multi-departmental, and/or multi-institutional teaming collaborations are highly encouraged.  Involvement of NASA and/or industry personnel as mentors to the student team is allowable.  For awarded efforts, NASA will provide a technical point of contact that will interact with the group throughout the project.

 

Q: Is there room for questioning the mission/objectives and therefore research gaps and proposing alternatives? Or a class that may explore mission ideas themselves?

A: This is encouraged and accommodated in the modified systems engineering process built into the X-Hab schedule.  The first milestone is a System Definition review that defines the scope and the concepts to be further developed.  It often requires tailoring of project expectations and further explanation of mission goals.  X-Hab encourages the creative input of academia to complement approaches that may already be in place at NASA.

 

Q: What might be your stance on longer term project that involve aspects of one of the mentioned projects, but do not focus on them?

A: Proposals that directly address the areas listed in the solicitation will be given priority consideration. Proposals that address other areas in direct support of the NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Division will also be considered. All projects funded under this solicitation are to follow the scheduled outlined in the solicitation.

 

Q: Can the data and results collected from the prototype be published in journals or conferences?

A: Publications are encouraged in X-Hab as part of the outreach strategy.


Project Specific Questions

Inflatable/Deployable Crew-lock to Enhance Gateway Ground Test and Evaluation

Q: Under this title and the section titled:  Expected Product (delivery item/concept), under part A (at the top of page 16), it is stated that "Designs should meet NASA-defined packaged and deployed volume, mass, power, and dimensional constraints."  Where are those details available?  I was not able to find them as part of the Solicitation document.

A: That detail would be shared during project execution.  Reasonable assumptions can be made for proposal purposes based on heritage hardware developed for ISS or Space Shuttle.

 

Q:  Multi-Part Question: Part B of the same section states:  Deliver a full-scale, crew-lock analog to NASA Johnson Spaceflight Center (JSC) (funding should be reserved in the project for this travel and shipping), which can be deployed and used in Gateway ground test simulations. Analog crew-lock will meet basic safety requirements specified by JSC facility managers to be placed in NASA custody to support test operations. 

Q:  What is meant by "analog"?  Is this a mockup like the ones in Bldg 9?

A: Analogs are simulations for relevant test environments.  It is envisioned to be similar to the capabilities of the training hardware at JSC Building 9.

Q:  How many personnel are typically sent from the University institution to support the delivery and assembly (as needed) of the item?

A: That is a determination made by the team for number of personnel required to successfully execute the delivery

Q:  Will a presentation of the Crew Lock be required to JSC personnel upon receiving the mockup/analog?

A: Five presentations and associated deliverables are required per the solicitation, and they will be tailored to ensure appropriate documentation is delivered for the end item..

Q:  Where are the "basic safety requirements" mentioned in the documentation so that we can ensure that our mockup can meet those?

A: That detail would be shared during project execution, but these are typical workplace safety requirements for facilities and office space in combination with additional concerns for the application in an analog test environment.

 

Q: Are there required specific internal and external volume dimensions required for the Crew Lock?

A: That detail would be shared during project execution.  Reasonable assumptions can be made for proposal purposes based on heritage hardware developed for ISS or Space Shuttle. 

 

Q: Is there a specific hatch size and shape required to be integrated into the Crew Lock?

A: The hatch size/shape between the vehicle and crew lock is still under trade for the Gateway, but for the proposal reasonable assumptions could be made based upon International Docking System Standard compliant designs. Actual hatch size/shape requirements will be provided during project execution

 

Q: Since the CDR is toward the start of the spring semester, is there a required presentation at the end of the spring semester when the mockup/analog is delivered?  If so, how many days would we expect that trip would need to take in order to ensure proper budgeting for the travel?

A: The cadence of reviews and their intent is in the solicitation.  Typical visits take 1-3 days depending on tour requests and work activities planned.  This detail is expected to be provided by the proposing teams. 

 

Q: There is a presentation mentioned at the bottom of page 15, part A.  Is this presentation for the flight design or for the analog being delivered?

A: Both.  There is a balance with all of these projects to understand a flight like design but to focus on the deliverable analog end item.

 

Q: Will the analog/mockup need to be able to deploy/inflate and then collapse/deflate multiple times as part of the evaluations or just have it be a one-time deployment?

A: It is expected to be used many times for multiple simulation test activities

 

Q: What level of testing and analysis is needed/required for a flight unit design vs. the mockup?

A: There is a balance with all of these projects to understand a flight like design but to focus on the deliverable analog end item.

 

Q: Confirming that the materials used to build the analog can be representative but not flight materials.

A: Confirmed.

 

Q: Confirming that analysis will need to be completed for the analog/mockup being used in Bldg 9 to the requirements of the SVMF, but that those requirements will be provided in the future to us by NASA/JSC.

A: Correct.

 

Q: On page 15, Expected Product (delivery item/concept):, Section A - is the required analysis listed for a flight version of the Crew Lock, or for the analog of the Crew Lock to ensure it's safe for ground use, or both?

A: For the analog delivery.

 

Q: What documentation is present for the required level of analysis needed for the flight unit design?  Specifically, related to required leak rates, loading, launch vibration loads, EVA crewmember kick loads, etc?

A: At this point in the Gateway design, such design details are not yet available and reasonable assumptions based on past examples can be provided during project execution.

 

Q: Page 15 under Scope of the challenge it states, "This project seeks the design, fabrication and delivery of a full-scale, low-pressure (0.1-0.5 psig) inflatable/deployable crew-lock structure that demonstrates the volume, operation and outfitting of a crew-lock for use in NASA Gateway ground test efforts." - confirming that by low-pressure what is meant is that the delta P across the mockup (from interior to exterior) should basically be the same.  You can have a higher delta P if needed for inflating, but then you need to be able to have that delta P go away for actual use (ingress/egress) of the Crew Lock module.

A: Correct. 

 

Q: How many awards will be given specifically for the "Inflatable/Deployable Crew-lock to Enhance Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway Ground Test and Evaluation" challenge?

A: One award is anticipated.