Which companies will submit bids for Mars Sample Return?
Lockheed Martin
Blue Origin
Intuitive Machines
Rocket Lab
Impulse Space

NASA will soon be soliciting new proposals for Mars Sample Return. Which companies will submit bids?

This only includes companies leading the proposal, not suppliers, contractors, or non-lead individual members of a group bid.

Close date may be changed once we know the due date for submissions. If there is no solicitation (and therefore no submissions), all options will resolve no.

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@Evan How will this resolve if NASA doesn't put out a RFP -- which would have pricing info (i.e. "bids") as part of responses -- but instead puts out an RFI?

I don't know a ton about NASA procurement, but I don't think an RFI would include pricing because no specifics are settled on.

Will this market only resolve on responses at the RFP stage, or is merely responding to an RFI enough to count?

IMO, the headline's use of "bids" means it must be the RFP stage, and I've bet in this market on that interpretation.

(Sorry Evan, I know I've tagged the wrong person, but the Manifest UI won't let me change it)

@DanHomerick eh, I recind my comment :D

Detailed docs about what proposals will include are here, and budget is a significant part. So, anything anyone submits could reasonably could be called a bid.


(I still think SpaceX won't submit one)

@DanHomerick I think that's an old solicitation, and not the re-bid of the whole program that I had in mind. I believe the linked press release is an announcement of an (expected) new solicitation, not yet posted.

If there's only an RFI, not an RFP that is responded to with bids, then everything resolves No.

I'm not sure we know the timeline for that solicitation; the end of year close date is a guess. If we get info about when the solicitation will be I'll update it. If no updates by EOY I think it's fair to say it isn't happening this time around. Once we get a solicitation I'll update the close date to match the submission deadline. (Actually probably a bit after that, I'm not sure if all submissions will be public immediately.)

While I do work related to this, the contracting and solicitation process is very far from my area of expertise. Feedback, questions, and suggestions for improvements on this question is very welcome!

@EvanDaniel check out https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument?cmdocumentid=992786&solicitationId={BB8B4EA2-C11B-259D-65E7-E0ADFA57CE11}&viewSolicitationDocument=1 , which is one of the pieces from the url I linked earlier, and is for commercial companies. Seems pretty clearly to be the first step of the process they discusson on Monday.