Partnering with Industry: Lessons Learned from the Wide Field Instrument on the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope Mission



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Through most of the project formulation prior to Phase A, the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) project was developed as a Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in house mission with one secondary instrument developed by JPL and an existing telescope donated from elsewhere in the federal government and managed by the original industry vendor. GSFC was responsible for the spacecraft bus, the instrument supporting structure and the Wide Field Instrument (WFI), which provides the primary science for the mission. Shortly before the beginning of Phase A, NASA codified its acquisition strategy for WFIRST to explore a more substantial role for industry in the mission. The project decided to have a large portion of the WFI be co-developed by industry. This paper describes lessons learned and recommendations for bringing potential industry partners into a project at later stages of conceptual design and presents viewpoints from both the vendor and customer on the experience with WFIRST.


Hume Peabody, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
Jeanette Domber, Ball Aerospace, USA
ICES101: Spacecraft and Instrument Thermal Systems
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems as held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


WFI, WFIRST, external vendor, thermal, acquisition