The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is looking to implement a zero-trust architecture as the agency looks to the recompete of its NASA Integrated Communications Services (NICS) contract, a December 11 request for information notes.

The NICS 2.0 notice – which is aimed at finding small businesses for the large contract – notes that NASA is looking to stay on top of emerging technologies over the next ten years while adopting a stronger security posture. While the RFI does not offer an estimate of the contract’s value, the previous NICS contract awarded in 2011 was an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract worth $1.17 billion.

“The NICS 2.0 contract will continue NASA’s communications transformation through deployment of network technologies enabling Zero Trust solution deployments and advanced network automation and segmentation to improve security and reduce operational cost,” the agency states.

The RFI also shows that NASA is considering how its modernization approaches will work together, as the agency asks contractors how the agency can optimize software defined networking for cloud and zero-trust technologies.

While NICS 2.0 is primarily aimed at mission support activities, NASA said it is also looking to “strategically employ the NICS 2.0 contract to encourage better mission utilization,” which could expand the scope of the contract. NASA’s Artemis Program, which aims to land a man and woman on the moon by 2024, is also a major factor for the agency’s modernization efforts, the RFI notes.

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