Saalex Supports Second Starliner Orbital Flight Test

Uncrewed Mission will Attempt Docking with ISS ahead of Upcoming Crewed Launch

Camarillo, CA and Rockledge, FL (July 26, 2021) Saalex Corp. is supporting the launch of Boeing’s Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) uncrewed spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), on Friday, July 30. The launch is scheduled for 2:53 EDT from Cape Canaveral Florida. Saalex’s Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support 3 (ELVIS 3) team provides engineering, programmatic, and technical support for this and other Commercial Crew Program (CCP) missions.

The Starliner OFT-2 mission is expected to last from seven to 14 days, during which the spacecraft will demonstrate its ability to maneuver and dock with the ISS. After rendezvousing with the space station, the Starliner spacecraft will undock and return to Earth, landing in the western U.S. The mission is a precursor to the first crewed flight of the spacecraft, Boeing Crew Flight Test (Boe-CFT), tentatively slated for late 2021 or early 2022.

This mission will be Starliner’s second attempt at docking with the ISS, following a failed attempted during the maiden Starliner (OFT-1) mission in December 2019. That failure was attributed to a software anomaly with the spacecraft's Mission Elapsed Time (MET) clock. Following the OFT-1 mission, Boeing launched a four-month investigation that resulted in the proposal for a second uncrewed test flight using the same hardware, Starliner spacecraft and Saturn V rocket, as slated for the Boe-CFT crewed flight test.

“NASA and Boeing have done an incredible amount of work to get to this point,” said Steve Stich, Commercial Crew Program manager, NASA. “Our teams are ready for this important mission because of the coordinated efforts of many, including the United Launch Alliance, NASA’s Launch Services Program, and the U.S. Space Force, which enabled us to establish this launch opportunity. We are looking forward to a successful OFT-2 mission.”

The updated launch target is supported by the station’s visiting vehicle schedule, Starliner readiness, and the availability of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

“Our support of the Boeing Starliner test expands our coverage of these commercial ventures that have become the norm in the modern era, opening the next exciting chapter in space exploration,” said Saalex president and CEO, Travis Mack. “We are proud of the contribution our ELVIS 3 team continues to provide to these Commercial Crew Program Missions.”

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

About Saalex Solutions Saalex Solutions, the Federal services division of Saalex Corporation, supports Department of Defense agencies to include Navy, Army, Air Force, and NASA. It provides core competencies in the areas of test range operations and management, engineering and logistics services, cybersecurity, and information technology services. Founded in 1999 by Travis Mack, Saalex Solutions is a service-disabled veteran-owned business headquartered in Camarillo, CA. Learn more at www.saalex.com.

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Saalex ELVIS 3 Supports Crew-2 Mission to ISS

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

Camarillo, CA — Saalex Corp. supported the successful launch of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) Friday, April 23, marking 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 lifted 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 provided engineering, programmatic, and technical support for the mission.

Crew-2 is the first launch of a flight-proven Dragon 2 and the first crewed launch on 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 McArthur’s 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.

 

COVID video 560

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.

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.

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