Business Buzz: Clear Lake Business News


Clear Lake Business News

By Mary Alys Cherry

NASA, SpaceX begin lease talks

NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., to begin negotiations on a lease to use and operate historic Launch Complex (LC) 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Permitting use and operation of this valuable national asset by a private-sector, commercial space partner will ensure its continued viability and allow for its continued use in support of U.S. space activities.

The reuse of LC-39A is part of NASA’s work to transform the Kennedy Space Center into a 21st century launch complex capable of supporting both government and commercial users. NASA made the selection decision after the GAO denied a protest filed against the agency by Blue Origin LLC on Sept. 13. In its protest, Blue Origin raised concerns about the competitive process NASA was using to try to secure a potential commercial partner. The GAO disagreed.

Chrysalis given $1.5 million pact

Chrysalis BioTherapeutics has been awarded a $1.5 million contract from the National Cancer Institute to continue its development of Chrysalin to mitigate radiotherapy-induced damage to normal brain tissue.

The project is a collaboration between UTMB, Baylor College of Medicine and Chrysalis.

Nearly one in 161 people will be diagnosed with brain or nervous system cancer during their lifetime with radiotherapy the primary tool for controlling tumor growth. Yet damage to surrounding normal tissues limit the amount of radiation that can be used.

Thus, finding ways to mitigate damage may allow more effective cancer treatment to increase survival and improve quality of life for survivors.

Pasadena Chamber gets new directors

The Pasadena Chamber has chosen its 2014 Board of Directors — Mike Gilbert, plant manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical; V.J. Baretto Morento, Shell Deer Park; Jeanna Barnard, Bayshore Medical Center; Greg Clary, Pasadena Rodeo Association; Shelley Fuller, Project Joy and Hope; Pedro Garcia, Port of Houston Authority;

Dr. Kirk Lewis, Pasadena ISD superintendent; John Mrozek, dean of Academic Affairs for Texas Chiropractic College; Monica Perry, Doctor’s Outpatient Surgery Center; Jacqueline Spigener, Silver Sycamore Tea Room Bed and Breakfast; Sherrel Brantley, Ichi-Ban Trophy; Ken Unfried, Capital Bank;

Britney Samperi, Shell Federal Credit Union; Sherry Bufkin, vice chairman Post Oak Bank; Dawn Harris of Commissioner Jack Morman’s office; George Gonzalez, San Jacinto College; Valerie Revilla, New Dimensions Home Health Care; and Sam Jimenez, McDonalds.

Princess Cruises extends its stay

Princess Cruises launched the first of three seasons of Caribbean cruises sailing out of the Port of Houston and returning with a boat load of smiling faces.

Its agreement with the Port calls for Princess Cruises to also sail from the Bayport Cruise Terminal during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 cruise seasons. Sailings are expected to generate as much as $155 million of economic impact over the confirmed three cruise seasons.

The Caribbean Princess will offer six months of cruises with calls in Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize City and in 2014, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel will begin offering seven-day Caribbean cruises through 2017.

NASA awards contract to SAIC

NASA has selected SAIC to provide biomedical, medical and health services at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The contract has a maximum potential value of $1.76 billion, including a five-year base period and two option periods that could extend the contract through 2023. It will support many NASA programs and offices including the International Space Station.

Besides operational space medicine and occupational health and medicine, SAIC also will manage clinical, biomedical, space food and environmental laboratories; behavioral sciences; human factors engineering; spacecraft environment monitoring and management. Work under the contract will be performed at Johnson and SAIC facilities.

Michael Hesse named to FT400

Bay Area financial advisor Michael W. Hesse has been named one of the Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors in the country. The Financial Times is in its 125th year as a worldwide business news publication.

To be named on the FT400, advisors must have a minimum of $250 million in assets under management and more than 10 years of industry experience.

“Since 1982, the mission of Texas Wealth Management, Inc. has been to provide sound financial guidance . . . in a personalized and cost effective manner,” Hesse said.

Southwest starts work on terminal

Houston City Councilman Dave Martin, who represents the Clear Lake area, joined Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the rest of his council colleagues at Hobby Airport for the recent groundbreaking of Southwest Airlines’ new international terminal that will serve flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and northern South America.

The new facility is expected to accommodate nearly one million passengers, as well as to add $1.5 billion to the local economy and 10,000 new jobs.

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