NASA logo

RSDO Mission Statement

The Rapid Spacecraft Development Office (RSDO) is responsible for the management and direction of a dynamic and versatile program directing the definition, competition, and acquisition of multiple fixed-price Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts. These contracts offer NASA and other Federal Government Agencies fast and flexible procurement of spacecraft and spacecraft components for future missions. The RSDO staff will guide you through the process of meeting your mission objectives with our contracts.

The philosophy of RSDO is to encourage missions to define the Payload/Instrument(s) to the maximum extent prior to the selection of the spacecraft. The relatively short acquisition time (6 to 8 months) allows more time for instrument development and requirements maturation. Since mission "requirements creep" is based on requirements uncertainty, and is often a reason for cost growth, the RSDO approach allows for mitigation of the cost risk. By utilizing previously developed spacecraft (with modifications), the RSDO approach allows for mitigation of technical risk and allows concentration of technical assets on the areas of the mission unique modifications. All vendors must meet rigorous acceptance criteria in order to be awarded core contract and a place in the RSDO Catalog.

The RSDO acquisition process for spacecraft procurements (draft solicitation release to delivery order award) is nominally 6 to 8 months. A typical, traditional spacecraft acquisition takes two years or longer. Furthermore, since Rapid spacecraft require less development, the delivery order period of performance averages 24-36 months and culminates in delivery in orbit after checkout and acceptance.

The RSDO can competitively award a spacecraft bus from among the Rapid III vendors within 6 to 8 months. Standard services in the Rapid III contract include: spacecraft build and test, integration and test of the payload(s), delivery to the launch site, support of launch site operations, support of early orbit operations, and on-orbit checkout and acceptance. Standard terms of the contract can be modified on individual delivery orders under some circumstances, please check with the RSDO. The RSDO can assist a customer with Requests for Information (RFI) to conduct non-binding market surveys and Requests for Offer (RFO) for spacecraft studies or spacecraft procurements. Price estimates are only available from the Rapid III vendors via RFIs or study RFOs. For non-NASA customers, the RSDO charges a small fee for spacecraft delivery orders, to recover the cost of our support.

Providing Fast Procurement of Spacecraft


  • Serving the Spacefaring Federal Agencies and Their Affiliates
  • IDIQ Contracts - A Catalog of Spacecraft Buses
  • Core Bus Design Modifications to Meet Customer's Mission-Unique Requirements
  • Flexible Contract Terms and Conditions to Support Customer Requirements
  • Accommodation Assessment and Requirements Definition Studies
  • Competitively Awarded Fixed Price Delivery Orders in 6 to 8 month
  • Delivery order Management Transferred to Customer's Federal Government Contracting Office