ISS Laptop Procurement - A Bargain - or Expensive?

NASA JSC Contract Award: Replacement of 1553 Cards for ISS Flight Laptop Computers

"Contract Award Amount: 400800
Contractor: Data Device Corporation, 105 Wilbur Place, Bohemia, NY 11716"

Editor's note: $400,800 for cards that go in a laptop? Sounds a little steep - so I sent an inquiry to Michal K. Malik at JSC, the contact listed on this notice. He declined to answer my question but told me to ask the FOIA point of contact Stella Luna. I have not heard back from Ms. Luna.

Editor's update: I heard back from Stella Luna:

NASA ordered 162 of one card @ $2,300/card; 4 of another @ $5,800/card; and 4 of another @ $1,000/card.

"Mr. Cowing - this is in response to your request for information relating to 1553 cards. Pursuant to the FOIA, we normally do not answer questions, we simply respond to requests for actual documents. We are however, interpreting your question to mean you are asking for a copy of the Purchase Order for the 1553 cards.

A copy of the Purchase Order is attached."

Editor's original post:If you assume that these cards are only for on-orbit ISS laptops then this would amount to perhaps a dozen computers - or $33,400 per computer. If you assume that NASA follows standard habits and wants to have exact duplicates on Earth as spares and for training and configuration issues - this number might be 50 or so. That would drop the per unit cost to $8,016 per computer. I assume, like other speciality items, that these aren't exactly cheap and that they are rad hardened, have other special capabilities, etc. (Here is their catalog) but this $400,800 figure sounds a little steep for a bunch of laptop cards. Until JSC gets back to me we'll just have to guess.

Reader Comments

"1553 Standard off the shelf cards cost about $10,000 each. Desktop PCI cards and laptop PCMCIA cards cost the same. We had to buy about 10 cards to support rack testing at MSFC."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 19, 2005 11:36 AM.

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