NASA and the Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have
entered into a five-year contract that allows APL to
provide research, development and engineering support to
the agency, up to a ceiling of $750 million.
The contract, which includes an option for a five-year
extension, covers areas such as systems testing and
evaluation; space science and engineering; information
technology; and mission simulation, modeling and
"This contract creates an environment in which we can
quickly respond to NASA requests for support and will
provide for a more seamless relationship with the agency,"
said Rob Strain, head of the APL Space Department.
APL is one of three government- or
university-affiliated institutions with the capability to
perform all aspects of robotic space missions, and the
contract will provide a means to preserve this essential
capability at APL, consistent with NASA's evolving needs.
The contract does not guarantee funding; NASA can award
work to the Lab through competed vehicles as well as
noncompeted, sole-source task orders.
"Our expertise in space science, planetary missions
and related engineering and technology fields was developed
for NASA missions and remains valuable to the agency,"
Strain said. "This contract will allow NASA to draw on that
expertise more efficiently as it tackles increasingly more
complex missions in support of its Exploration Initiative.
It will also allow us to team cooperatively with NASA
centers on a variety of critical challenges."
The contract will not prompt an influx of new jobs for
the Space Department, APL's second largest, where nearly
600 people work on a range of tasks for NASA and the
Defense Department. APL also remains involved in National
Security space programs. All told, APL has built 64
spacecraft and more than 150 spacecraft instruments since
creating its Space Department in 1959.
For more about APL's space programs, go to civspace.jhuapl.edu