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.

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.

ELVIS 3 Team Supports First Fully Operational Crew Dragon Launch

SpaceX Mission Carries Crew of Four to International Space Station

Camarillo, CA and Rockledge, FL (November 24, 2020) – Saalex Solutions supported the first fully operational mission for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, helping to open a new chapter in the history of commercial space flight. The mission lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday, November 15 carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). As with the Crew Dragon Demo 2 launch in May, Saalex’s Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support 3 (ELVIS 3) team provided engineering, programmatic, and technical support for the mission.

The Crew Dragon’s capsule, Resilience, docked with the ISS on Monday, November 16 after a 27-hour trek to the space station. Saalex President and CEO, Travis Mack, congratulated the ELVIS 3 team for their continued success in support of the Launch Services Program (LSP) and Commercial Crew Program (CCP) mission.

“Once again, I want to thank our Saalex ELVIS 3 team,” Mr. Mack said. “They are leading the way in these difficult times by showing what we can achieve as a company. Commercial space flight will continue to play an intrinsic role in the future of the space program, and I’m proud that Saalex has been there at the beginning to help open the door to this new frontier.”

This launch marks the Crew Dragon’s first fully operational mission and the first time the spacecraft has carried a complete crew of four. The four astronauts include NASA's Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi of Japan's JAXA space agency, who joined NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russia's Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov onboard the ISS. In May, the Crew Dragon became the first commercially built and operated U.S. spacecraft to take humans into orbit. That mission was considered a test and carried only two astronauts.

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.

“The Mission Integration Coordinators who represent Saalex Solutions in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program do an amazing job of supporting their high-profile customers,” said Robert Fischer, ELVIS 3 Launch Site Support Engineer and Program Manager, “and they do it in support of one of our country’s most prestigious endeavors — human spaceflight.”

Saalex’s participation in the program has earned the company kudos from NASA. ELVIS 3 team members Mena Waters, Susan Sawyer, and Donna Atkinson recently received the space agency’s Group Achievement Award for their efforts as part of the CCP Program Control & Integration team, supporting the May Demo-2 launch.

The team members were commended for their “outstanding teamwork and above and beyond support to the Commercial Crew Program in achieving the very first commercial human spaceflight to the International Space Station and returning the capability to transport humans to Low Earth Orbit to the United States.” The commendation went on to state that the team was “instrumental in the planning and execution of highly integrated Agency-wide and inter-Agency mission critical support.”

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.

Trilex Solutions is Awarded AMTD Machine Shop Contract

Camarillo, CA and China Lake, CA (November 19, 2020) – Trilex Solutions, a Joint Venture (JV) between Tridant Solutions and Saalex Solutions, has been awarded a $5.8 million small business set-aside contract to provide maintenance and support services for the Applied Manufacturing Technology Division (AMTD) at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) facilities at China Lake, CA.

The AMTD Machine Shop is one of the largest of its kind in the United States. In carrying out the contract, Trilex will perform general maintenance, repair, and refurbishment of machinery; inventory control; packing of materials manufactured at AMTD; transportation of materials and equipment: and installation of Government-owned tools and equipment.

JV team member Saalex has been the incumbent contractor for the AMTD Machine Shop since originally winning the contract award in 2014.

“I am extremely pleased that NAWCWD chose to work with Trilex Solutions allowing Saalex to continue working on the AMTD Machine Shop contract,” said Saalex CEO and President Travis Mack. “This win reaffirms the exemplary degree of service that Saalex brings the Government, the warfighter, and all our customers. We are pleased to be joined by Tridant Solutions for this joint venture effort as they allow us to deliver a wider array of services at the highest level possible.”

During the initial award period from 2014 to present in which Saalex was the primary contractor, the company frequently earned praise from NAWCWD for improving safety, meeting and exceeding schedule deadlines, and implementing cost-saving measures. Saalex helped and continues to help relocate AMTD Machines to various locations throughout the base to new temporary locations as a result of the damage done to the main Machine Shop building by the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes. These earthquakes rendered the main Machine Shop too risky to continue use after over 70 years in service. The Trilex team looks forward to continuing to provide the same level of exemplary service that NAWCWD has received from Saalex.

About Trilex Solutions
Trilex is a mentor-protégé joint venture between Saalex Solutions (mentor) and Tridant Solutions (small business protégé). Learn more at

About Tridant Solutions
Tridant Solutions is an established facility-cleared, 8(a) woman-owned small business successfully serving government agencies and commercial entities nationwide since 2005. Tridant provides professional services support satisfying diverse requirements in Program and Project Management, Financial Management & Systems Support, Administrative Support, Medical and Health Care Services, and Facilities Operations. Learn more at