The first panel of the day covered Procurement Contracts and was chaired by J. Charles Dickey, General Counsel, Human Space Flight, Commercial Launch Services, Lockhed Martin Space Systems Company.
The first panelist to speak was David A. Bolton, Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, and Chief Ethics Officer, ATK. His discussion focused on how contractors deal with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). He stated that human space flight is going to cause specific problems for procurement. He stated that when the government begins to implement human ratings on contractors, that it is going to change the pricing models for numerous small contractors.
Next, James DeNapoli, Assistant General Counsel, United Launch Alliance, discussed briefly how the FAR and Space Act Agreements differ. Specifically, he discussed how indemnity and liability are dealt with in the FAR, but that the Space Act Agreements have lacunae that leave these issues open under space act agreements. Finally, he noted that Intellectual Property issues will become very difficult for companies moving from Space Act Agreements to Procurement Contracts.
The final panelist was Joe Batey, NASA Launch Services Program Counsel, Kennedy Space Center. He stated that he specifically worked with the NLS 2 Procurement Contract that allows NASA to buy launch services from commercial companies. He stated that one aspect of these contracts was to attempt to allow for smaller companies to participate. He said that this creates an interesting dynamic between heritage providers and the newer providers, but that new entrants into the market are an exciting new development.
The panel then moved to a broad discussion of how procurement contracts will affect the human space flight market. There was discussion about different factors that will affect this industry and the contracts such as what sort of individual is on board (government astronaut or space flight participant) and what happens if there is a failure.
The panel also covered a variety of other issues in relation to procurement contracts. The panel also discussed the difference between
general commercial contracts and government procurement contracts, government property, and intellectual property among others.