Saalex’s ELVIS 3 Supports Second Commercial Mission to ISS

Crew-2 Endeavour to Complete Orbital Shift Change with Previous CCP Crew

Camarillo, CA — Saalex Corp. is supporting the launch of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) Thursday, April 22, which will mark the second fully operational flight for the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and the first fully operational mission for the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. The spacecraft will lift off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 partially reusable rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, bound for the ISS with a four-person crew representing NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Crew-2 mission follows the successful launch of its companion Crew-1 mission aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft in November 2020. As with previous CCP missions, Saalex’s Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support 3 (ELVIS 3) team is providing engineering, programmatic, and technical support for the mission.

Crew-2 will be the first launch of a flight-proven Dragon 2 and the first crewed launch of a flight-proven Falcon 9. Crew-2 marks the second United States Crew Vehicle (USCV) mission and the third crewed flight of Dragon.

Crew-2 astronauts include NASA spacecraft commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur as well as JAXA mission specialist Aki Hoshide and ESA mission specialist Thomas Pesquet. While all crew members are veteran astronauts, the Crew-2 mission marks McArthurs’ first visit to the ISS.

Endeavour will dock with the ISS on Friday, April 23, where its crew will prepare to relieve the crew of Resilience, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. After a five-day shift change, the Resilience crew will undock from the ISS on Wednesday, April 28, and splash down off the Florida coast after spending 164 days on the station. The Crew-2 team will remain on ISS for roughly six months at which time they will hand the station over to the Crew-3 crew.

In preparation for Endeavour’s arrival, the Crew-1 team carried out another Commercial Crew first earlier this month, successfully undocking Resilience from the ISS’s Earth-facing Harmony Node 2 forward docking port and moving the spacecraft to the station’s Zenith, or space-facing docking port. The maneuver is expected to become commonplace with regular commercial missions to the station in the future.

Saalex President and CEO, Travis Mack, praised the efforts of the ELVIS 3 team’s continued support of the Launch Services Program (LSP) and CCP mission.

“We are demonstrating that commercial space flight can be as reliable as commercial aircraft flight,” Mack said. “This is the key to moving the technology forward. It’s one thing to show what you can achieve with a single breakthrough, but to be able to repeat it consistently will determine the viability of opening up this new frontier to commerce. Saalex continues to show that we have the talent and programs in place to get the job done.”

For the ELVIS 3 contract, Saalex has teamed with a.i. solutions to support LSP and CCP, delivering integrated launch preparation and execution services for the agency’s next-gen scientific and exploration space vehicles.

Saalex President/CEO Receives COVID Vaccine

The science is clear – to rid ourselves of the COVID-19 pandemic and move our country forward, it is important for as many of our fellow citizens as possible to get vaccinated. Saalex Corp President/CEO Travis Mack was excited and thankful to receive the COVID vaccine. He is happy to do his part in keeping others safe and healthy and encourages others to do the same.


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Valeo Networks Acquires Etech Solutions, Further Expanding National MSSP Footprint in the Midwest Region

Rockledge, FL, Camarillo, CA, and Des Moines, IA (December 29, 2020) – Valeo Networks, a division of Saalex Corporation and an industry-leading Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), today announced the acquisition of Etech Solutions, an Iowa-based Managed Service Provider (MSP). The acquisition includes Etech Solutions’ affiliate brand EtechASP. Financial terms are not being released.

The acquisition brings into the Valeo Networks team another recognized MSP, marking the first office location in the Midwest. It further enables Valeo Networks to deliver nationwide services with additional highly experienced, skilled technicians and system administrators.

The Etech Solutions and EtechASP brands will operate as DBA Valeo Networks companies and maintain their Ankeny, IA headquarters. Etech Solutions marks the fourth acquisition this year for Valeo Networks, firmly placing its revenue volume in the top 5% of MSSPs nationwide. Aligning with Valeo Networks’ expertise, Etech Solutions specializes in providing IT solutions for industries that include construction, engineering, real estate, healthcare, and legal.

“As we continue to execute on our nationwide growth strategy, working with prominent companies like Etech Solutions will help us achieve that goal,” said Travis Mack, CEO, Valeo Networks. “This acquisition establishes our first Midwest-located office, and significantly boosts our capabilities and resources in the areas of cybersecurity, managed services, cloud solutions, and network administration offerings.”

“After 20 years in business, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Valeo Networks family,” said Brian Sult, CEO/President, Etech Solutions. “With the additional financial and technical resources that Valeo Networks delivers, Etech will be able to provide our customers with enhanced IT service capabilities and advanced cybersecurity solutions.”

About Etech Solutions

Etech Solutions has been serving the Des Moines metro area since 2000, providing expert, economical managed IT services, cloud hosting, network security, and backup solutions for small to mid-size businesses. They offer both onsite and remote services with a team of experienced information technology (IT) professionals, who perform a full range of affordable computer consulting and maintenance services. Etech’s affiliate brand, EtechASP, delivers full cloud solutions for data management, giving clients cutting-edge technology that is needed in today's competitive business environment.

Red Planet Rendezvous: Mars 2020 Journey Nears Completion

Saalex ELVIS 3 Team Prepares for Historic Landing of Perseverance Rover

Camarillo, CA—After travelling seven months at speeds of nearly 48,000 miles per hour, the NASA’s Mars 2020 mission and its Perseverance Rover payload have nearly reached the Red Planet. Saalex’s Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support 3 (ELVIS 3) team has been following the mission closely, having provided key support to NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) and its contract with United Launch Alliance in the runup to the mission’s launch in July 2020. The Perseverance Rover is expected to touch down at Mars’s Jezero Crater on February 18, at 12:55 PT/3:55 p.m. ET.

“Mission support lasts long after launch,” explained Saalex ELVIS-3 Mission Integration Coordinator Danielle Cottrill. “We are all very excited, as this is the actual end of mission and it’s super cool to be part of something so historic.”

Saalex provided engineering technical integration and mission integration coordination services as part of the Mars 2020 Mission Integration Team and Atlas V launch vehicle team. Prior to the July 30 launch, the ELVIS 3 team developed launch site support procession requirements and prepped the launch site for the arrival of Perseverance at the NASA Kennedy Space Center. The Atlas V rocket that carried the spacecraft on the first leg it its journey is one of the largest rockets to be used for interplanetary spaceflight.

“At the time of the July launch, there was a tremendous feeling of excitement and pride throughout the company in response to our participation in such a high-profile and groundbreaking undertaking,” said Saalex Corp. President and CEO, Travis Mack. “I think that will actually be eclipsed by the reaction I expect from seeing the rover arrive at its destination. This is when the real magic begins. I’m so proud of our ELVIS 3 team for the role they have played what they have achieved in support of this important work.”

When it arrives on Mars, Perseverance will begin searching for signs of microbial life on the planet’s surface. The data the rover collects is expected to advance NASA’s larger mission to better understand the planet’s past and whether it once supported an abundance of life. The rover will collect soil and rock samples that will be picked up and returned to Earth on a future Mars mission. Other planned tests will help pave the way for eventual human missions to both the Moon and Mars. One such experiment is the proof-of-concept Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), which will produce oxygen from Mars’ carbon dioxide atmosphere, demonstrating a way that future explorers might produce oxygen for rocket propellant as well as for breathing. Perseverance is also carrying the experimental Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which will attempt history’s the first powered flight on another planet.

Over the final days of Perseverance’s approach to Mars, LSP has hosted a series of events to mark the historic mission, which will culminate with “Happy Landing Day,” Thursday, February 18. Interested parties are encouraged to tune into coverage of the landing via the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory YouTube Channel or on the NASA Live website. Prelanding coverage will begin at 2:15PM EST.

Saalex Supports Multi-Agency Launch of Oceanographic Satellite

ELVIS 3 Team Assists with Mission to Measure Sea Level Rise Related to Climate Change

Camarillo, CA and Rockledge, FL (November 25, 2020) – Saalex has followed up the historic Crew Dragon mission earlier this month with support for another successful commercial and scientific launch by NASA and SpaceX. On Saturday, November 21, a Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich oceanography satellite into orbit. Members of Saalex’s Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support 3 (ELVIS 3) team supported the launch both on site and from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This latest mission represents a collaboration between NASA, SpaceX, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the European Space Agency, along with other partners.

The Falcon 9 lifted off from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at 09:17 Pacific Standard Time — or 17:17 UTC. Saalex has teamed with a.i. solutions to support NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) and Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which provide integrated launch preparation and execution services for the agency’s next generation of scientific and space exploration vehicles.

The Sentinel 6A Michael Freilich will be joined in orbit by the Sentinel 6B in 2025. Together, the two satellites will measure sea level fluctuations as they relate to climate change. The satellite was named for the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, Michael Freilich, who was instrumental in advancing space-based ocean measurements.

The launch was originally scheduled for November 10 but was delayed due to abnormal behavior of the Falcon 9 rocket’s Merlin-1D engines. The first stage of the Falcon 9 is powered by nine such engines. After extensive testing, it was decided that two of the engines would be replaced and the launch was rescheduled for November 21.

The Saalex ELVIS 3 team taking part in the mission included two Mission Integration Coordinators, Lorie Keller and Kris Nelson, who handle communications between the mission’s major stakeholders, as well as two Engineering Technical Integrators, Maro Nime and Jim Poppino, who support NASA’s chief engineers and travelled to California from Florida for the launch. This was the fifth launch in what has been a particularly busy year for the ELVIS 3 team.

Along with supporting high-profile missions that included two Crew Dragon launches in May and November, the July Mars Rover Perseverance launch, and the Solar Orbiter (SolO) launch in February, the team has contended with logistical complications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. With some missions pushed to 2021 because of the pandemic, next year is shaping up to be even more challenging, said ELVIS 3 Launch Site Support Engineer, Robert Fischer.

“This has been a particularly busy year and we are going to be pretty darn busy for the next couple of years,” Fischer said. “Because of COVID, we have had to support the missions with bare minimum in-person personnel but have made up for that by making adjustments and working remotely when possible.”

Saalex Solutions President and CEO Travis Mack commended the ELVIS 3 team for their outstanding work under tough circumstances.

“It’s been a difficult year across all industries, but Saalex continues to rise to the challenge in support of the important work that NASA, NOAA, and SpaceX are doing to explore the possibilities of commercial space flight while helping protect our planet for future generations,” Mack said.