NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., has selected Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo., for negotiations for a new contract that will lead to the development of instruments and subsystems for robotic spacecraft used in space exploration and Earth-orbiting missions.

The Flight Instrument and Subsystem Tasks (FIST) contract consists of a 5-year commitment to provide subsystem hardware for JPL projects, and includes two 5-year options. The contract is worth up to approximately $350 million over 15 years.

"With the combination of downsizing at JPL and an increasing workload, we're forging more partnerships with industry to fill the gap, and this contract is an example," said Fred Vescelus, deputy program manager for JPL's Earth Science Flight Experiments Program Office.

"Work performed by the contractor will help us keep up with engineering development of spacecraft subsystems, detailed assembly piece/part work, and total system contracting," Vescelus said. The contractor will perform various tasks, including designing, building and testing hardware for JPL programs. Some tasks will require building hardware from existing designs, while other tasks will require new designs.

Negotiation of the contract is expected to take two to three weeks.

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

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