CSA Issues RFP for Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program Science Instruments

File photo: Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP). Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program Science Instruments.

The CSA Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) Science Instruments RFP is being referred to as LSI going forward. The LSI has several phases ranging from A through F.

The phases are outlined as follows:

  • Phase A (Definition Phase)
  • Phase B (Preliminary Design Phase)
  • Phase C (Detailed Design Phase)
  • Phase D which consists of
    • Phase D1 (Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT))
    • Phase D2 (Integration with the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) platform)
  • Phase E (Operations)
  • Phase F (Science Analysis and Disposal)

The CSA describes the LSI as follows.

“The objective of the LEAP LSI Phases A, B, C, and D will be to design, develop and build a scientific instrument(s) that could be delivered to the lunar surface in order to demonstrate and confirm the feasibility, value and benefits of the proposed scientific instrument(s) for validating technology and conducting opportunistic science on the Moon, and to demonstrate the validity of the mission requirements as well as the development of the system requirements for the scientific instrument.”

“The LEAP LSI is targeting the same flight delivery service to be provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS provider (to be selected by NASA) for the Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon’s (PRISM) (referred to as ‘PRISM’), which could be available for launch no earlier than mid-2027. Although the LSI is independent of PRISM, NASA intends to review the combination of instruments and/or payloads in order to ensure hardware compatibility. If selected as part of the PRISM CLPS delivery manifest, or moved to a later CLPS manifest in the future, the LSI would collect and disseminate science data from the mission, which would be received and stored within Canada. The link below contains further details on NASA’s PRISM-3 call.”

“Given that there is a possibility that the LSI may not be considered for manifest on a launch with NASA’s PRISM payloads, this RFP will also accept bids for a science instrument(s) that has already been manifested, or is being considered for manifest, on a launch opportunity to the Moon (on a lander, rover or orbiter), provided the proposed science instrument(s) meets the requirements of the LEAP LSI SOW specified at Annex A.”

The CSA states that it indents to award one contract for LSI Phases A, B, C, and D1 which would have a “a maximum funding of $6,975,487.00 (Applicable Taxes extra) excluding any Work that will be performed on an ‘as and when requested basis’ using a TA.”

Submissions are due by March 25, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Once awarded, the contract will run through to December 31, 2028.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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