Leidos Webster

March 30th, 2020

Tanya Hanway and Ernest Sanchez explain that Leidos’ name comes from the word “kaleidoscope” to represent the company’s ability to solve difficult problems by applying different perspectives, unlocking new insights, and making new discoveries.

A Kaleidoscope of Space Supplies and Innovation to the ISS and Beyond

From a 55,000 Sq Ft facility on Forge River Road in Webster, Leidos supports human spaceflight and deep space exploration to enable NASA’s next great discovery. Leidos’ local team of innovators works on numerous NASA programs spanning mission operations, research and engineering, payload processing, food development, human spaceflight, and IT support. Just about everything astronauts aboard the International Space Station touch, wear, consume, and do bears Leidos’ signature. From laptops to space suits, tortillas, toothpaste, and experiments, Leidos has shipped more than 210,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station.

In Webster, Leidos’ focus is enabling NASA’s mission of driving innovation in science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration. The 129-member team inside the Forge River Road facility and 284-member team on site at Johnson Space Center prepare astronauts for space travel, zero-gravity living, and daily work aboard the largest spacecraft ever built—the International Space Station (ISS)—which circles the earth at 17,000 mph and is the astronauts’ habitat for an average of six-month intervals.

Inside Leidos’ Cargo Processing Facility, Cargo Mission Contract Program Manager Ernest Sanchez; Division Manager of NASA Programs Nan Hardin; and Research, Engineering, Mission Integration Services Program Manager Tanya Hanway hold kits of essential supplies, like food and hygiene towels, bound for the ISS. Prior to transport, cargo undergoes about 200 different processes inside the Webster facility.

Special Delivery to the ISS and Beyond

Leidos’ development of clothing, gear, food, and equipment for those aboard the ISS holds significant ramifications for space colonies on the moon, Mars, and beyond. Logistics falls into this category, as well. Just as astronauts on the ISS require regular deliveries of experiment equipment, spare parts, food, air, and water, those who inhabit space outposts will need resupplies, too. Leidos’ expertise in planning, processing, and packing more than 400,000 pounds of supplies annually to the ISS is of critical importance—especially when every ounce matters. Leidos inventories, labels, and fit-checks each piece of hardware and soft goods, like a puzzle, to fit within a cargo transfer bag. Leidos’ very name, which appears in the word “kaleidoscope” to convey a constantly changing shape and form, represents the company’s innovative mindset toward solving problems and making new discoveries. Leidos’ prowess in technology and its far-reaching science and research applications play a vital role in human space activity.

kaLEIDOScope Leidos Innovates

Under NASA’s Cargo Mission Contract (CMC) in the Webster facility, Leidos processes cargo to enable astronauts’ daily health, welfare, and work aboard the ISS. The sheer number of steps and scope of work involved in making, assembling, processing, inventorying, labeling, testing, imaging, certifying, and integrating everything that is sent to ISS crewmembers is mind-boggling. Shipments often include crew provisions, hand tools, equipment, cameras, batteries and power supplies, research experiments, and ISS hardware.

Space-rated Yeti™

The majority of the thousands of different experiments and critical systems hardware that are bound for space are developed at various facilities and sent to Leidos’ Webster team for packaging and packing for launch to orbit.  However, Leidos also plays a critical role in fabricating and developing products for use in space. For example, when NASA wanted to research a low cost, low risk alternative for passively transporting frozen items to the ISS, Leidos’ engineers were charged with developing a custom Passive Cold Stowage Box (PCSB) that could maintain subzero temperatures for up to a week without battery or vehicle power.  Essentially, NASA asked if Leidos could develop and certify a space-rated Yeti®, and within months, the ISS crew was surprised with a shipment of frozen fruit bars to the ISS to enjoy as proof of concept. Leidos has developed many useful and innovative solutions, including a reliable power supply for laptops, a larger, safer, and more efficient food warmer, and a multi-layer insulation blanket needed to protect cargo from extreme temperatures that is fully compatible with the ISS robotic arm.

Inside the Decal Lab, 8,000 to 10,000 decals are created each month to support ISS missions. Decals, labels, and placards are generated for everything—contents, barcodes, tracking info, serial numbers, operating instructions, and safety.

Shipments to ISS average between 4,000 and 7,700 pounds

Inside Leidos’ Webster CMC facility, packaging takes on a completely new meaning. Bubble bags, Ziplocs, and Velcro abound inside the main cargo processing room, as well as the ubiquitous cargo transfer bags that come in various sizes to hold just about everything. Special shipping containers and lifts to handle heavy equipment are complemented by imaging services, HAZMAT assessments, and Department of Transportation coordination. Cargo kits become part of cargo transfer bags, which are clearly labeled and contain stringent inventory data to ensure that all hardware is handled in accordance with safety protocols. Electronic Launch Return On-Orbit Data Sets (eLRODS) protect hardware during all phases of processing—from receipt, ground handling, and delivery to the ISS. Custom foam enclosures made in the Foam Operations Lab protect flight hardware, just as decals, labels, and placards created in the Decal Lab protect and aid astronauts, so they know the precise sequencing for unpacking, setup, and operations. Labels are created in accordance with stringent NASA flight-approved materials and certifications and contain essential safety, inventory, tracking, and operating information.

Leidos’ work is not all inventorying, packaging, and labeling. The Webster team also works to ensure astronauts are healthy and comfortable. In fact, Leidos touts a seamstress who tailors clothing for astronauts and fabricates specialty items and equipment. Buttons on shorts or pants must be replaced with Velcro closures, and pockets with straps or closures must be added. Special equipment and soft goods are also fabricated inside the Webster facility. For instance, Leidos designed a camera covering that allows an astronaut’s huge, thick glove to handle and actuate buttons on the camera during a spacewalk or extra vehicular activity (EVA).

Leidos also considers toiletries and astronaut hygiene in its cargo preparation.  Every kilogram counts for payloads; water must be imported to the ISS, as no method for cleaning clothes currently exists. This means astronauts receive a single clothing kit, clearly labeled for two weeks’ worth of wear. A change of outfit might transpire twice a week. Astronauts can choose among their favorite brands for hygiene products, such as shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant—many of which will be outfitted with a Velcro backing.

Ernest Sanchez displays a 3D printed mock-up of the Keyence BZ-X800E All-In-One Fluorescence Microscope, an automated microscope with high-resolution imaging and analysis system, that was recently certified by Leidos for use on the ISS.

Manifest to Delivery: Six Weeks 13-15 Flights to ISS Annually

While food is made off-site, all of it is labeled, packaged, and processed in Webster where it’s categorized, numbered, placed into kits, and pressurized for transport. Factors, like nutrition, digestion, dietary conditions, shelf life, and zero-gravity have a huge role in determining what astronauts eat. A four-pound bag labeled “fruits and nuts,” for example, contains individual bags of almonds, apples with spice, applesauce, berry medley, cashews, dried apricots, dried pears, fruit cocktail, macadamia nuts, peaches, peanut butter, peanuts, and more—clearly listed in alphabetical order with tracking or inventory number.

Just as Leidos processes nearly all of the cargo that goes to the ISS, the Webster facility is the repository for returning payloads, as well. This includes time-sensitive or temperature-critical experiments, research materials, malfunctioning hardware, and used, but valuable, gear and equipment. The constant challenge to innovate and develop new modes for life and work in space is Leidos’ focus in Webster and at Johnson Space Center.

Next Stop: Lunar Station

Leidos is poised now to be the supplier to Gateway—the lunar orbital platform that brings astronauts to the moon to operate a space station and serves as a “gateway” for deep space missions. Under the Research, Engineering, Mission Integration Services (REMIS) contract, Leidos is currently developing the navigation and alignment aides for the Gateway Program to ensure safe docking of the various modules. Additionally, as commercialization of low earth orbit continues to ramp up rapidly, Leidos’ unparalleled expertise in logistics, research, engineering, IT, and mission integration services is in demand.

With a track record of success at NASA centers across the country, Leidos provides the mission understanding and technical expertise necessary to support advancements in space exploration and human spaceflight across the public and private space sector. From enterprise IT modernization to operations and logistics to systems engineering and integration, Leidos stands ready to support NASA in achieving its next discovery.

Clear Lake Chatter

March 30th, 2020

Executive Leadership Team members Brandy Gates, Sarah Ferguson, Karen Keesler, Emmeline Dodd and Kimberly Fleming, from left, get together to lend a hand with preparations for the Go Red for Women Luncheon benefitting the American Heart Association.

Sea of Red raises $275,000 for Heart Association

YOU HAVE TO admit it — there’s nothing quite like walking into a hotel and seeing hundreds of women dressed in red. And men wearing red ties.

But, while hotel guests might have been puzzled, we all know it was the American Heart Association’s 2020 Go Red for Women Luncheon at South Shore Harbour Resort.

And, not only did the 480 attending present a beautiful sea of red, they raised $265,000 to help fight heart disease — $40,000 more than last year’s $225,000 — with Chairman Wendy Drapela and Survivor Champion Amy Doherty joining AHA officials Michelle Stoddard and Macy Osoria in welcoming the arriving crowd that included Cindy Harreld DeWease, Barbara Clariday, Sheree Frede, Michelle Holland, Kim Woods, Jana Reed, Sarah FergusonJill Reason, Karen McCorkle, Jill Lammers, Brandy Gates and Emmeline Dodd.

In fact, Emmeline was one of five women selected to tell their story of their fight with heart disease. Others were Eva Baker, Brandi Arnold, Alma Solis and Meloney Bean.

Go Red for Women 2020 Chairman Wendy Drapela, right, and Survivor Champion Amy Doherty await the arriving crowd for this year’s luncheon.

Also recognized were members of the Circle of Red – Tamara Baker, Meloney Bean, Mike and Sherri Belsley, Martha Bowles, Tami Brantley McEwen, Kippy Caraway, Jonathan Cottrell, Rita Cunningham, Lance and Laurie Dahse, Emmeline Dodd, Wendy Drapela, Lila Fass, Anita Fogtman, Jerry Foyt, Kimberly Fleming, Michelle Jacobs, Stephen Jones, Yvette Jones, Jill Lammers, Karen and Mark Keesler,  Misty Killebrew, Michael and Ann Wismer Landolt, Holly Lilley, Dinah Matthews, Joan McKinney, Dr. Monte Orahood, Greg and Pam Ploss, Theressa Riggs, Dr. Amber Shamburger, Wendy Shaw, Gretchen Sheehan, Marilyn Sims, Randy Stine, Jim Sweeney, Darcy Whatley, Matthew and Angie Weinman, Mary Williams and Keely Wood.

KPRC Ch. 2’s Jonathan Martinez served as emcee and also took time to thank Event Committee members for their many contributions – Teresa Vencil, Sandy Adams, Teresa Provis, Laurie Dahse, Mary Williams, Donna Orozco, Valerie Blumfield, Jill Reason, Meloney Bean, Darcy Santana, Dinah Matthews, Kelli Reddinger, Stephanie Rice, Amy Doherty and Kim McFate.

UHCL President Dr. Ira Blake, from left, says hello to Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell and, seated, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey.

 

League City Mayor Pat Hallisey and his wife Janice and Pearland Mayor Tom Reid were in the massive crowd, as were Congressman Randy Weber and his wife, Brenda; State Sen. Larry Taylor, State Rep. Dennis Paul, BAHEP President Bob Mitchell and his wife, Joan; Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith and CCISD Trustees Dr.Laura DuPont and Win Weber, with CCISD Communications Director Elaina Polsen; attorney Becky Reitz, Cheryl Maultsby, Rebecca Lilley, Ashlea Quinonez, Karen Reed, Jim and Jane Sweeney, Kelly Williams, Kimberly Halliburton, Kaci Hanson, Laurie Wood, Brandy Taylor, Vickie Brown, Kay Smith, Eric and Megan Green, Rick Clapp, Chris Premont, and Drs. Matthew Higgs, Hannah Dineen, Roxanne Edrington and Ann Haggard. Plus a few hundred more.

Space Center Rotary members get together for a photo with honoree Suzi Howe, in red, as the event comes to an end.

Rotarians celebrate Suzi Howe’s honor

Bill and Suzi Howe take part in the Rotary ceremony at Palms Event Center celebrating her appointment to the 2020-21 Rotary International Board of Directors.

SUZI HOWE, a member of Space Center Rotary Club in Clear Lake, was honored Feb. 16 when some 200 Rotarians from all over the Houston area gathered at the Palms Event Center on the Gulf Freeway to celebrate her appointment to the Rotary International Board of Directors.

 Howe, who lives in Friendswood, is a former president of the Space Center club and a former Rotary district governor, who is always busy with Rotary activities.

 “Rotary has a million or so members all around the world, and to be chosen to serve on the 20-member Rotary International Board of Directors is quite an honor,” Rotary District Governor-elect Scott Rainey, a past president of the Clear Lake club, said.

 “We were both amazed and shocked when you think of the size of Rotary but could not think of a more deserving member,” Assistant District Governor Nancy Anderson added.

 Rotary District 5890 hosted the celebratory event honoring her as an incoming Rotary International director for the 2020 – 2022 Rotary years. A special guest was David L. Shaw, a founding member of Space Center Rotary nearly 66 years ago on Aug. 6, 1954.

 State Rep. Dennis Paul presented her with a flag that flew over the Texas State Capital in her honor, while Kippy Caraway presented a proclamation signed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declaring Feb. 16 Suzi Howe Day in the Bayou City and Friendswood Mayor Mike Foreman came with a proclamation he signed also declaring Suzi Howe Day in his city — as Suzi’s husband Bill, also a Rotarian, looked on with pride.

Howe, a former owner of South Shore Montessori School in League City and a graduate of the University of Kansas, has spent much of the past several years working with Rotary committees and their projects.

Her selection couldn’t come at a better time — Houston will host the Rotary International Convention June 4 – 8, 2022.

Friendswood Mayor Mike Foreman, left, says hello to State Rep. Dennis Paul and his wife, Eliza, as they arrive at the Palms Event Center for the party honoring Suzi Howe.

 

 Some of the local Rotarians in the crowd were Club President Mike Porterfield and his wife, Cindy; Wayne and Marilyn Musial, Delia Stephens, Mary Alys Cherry, Adrienne and Dr. Vissett Sun, Gary Johnson, Bill Geissler, Raymond Moore, Nancy and Robert Anderson, Alan and Gaye Wylie, Scott Rainey, Rev. Steve Oglesbee, Stan Galanski, Darryl Smith, Madella Williams, Randy Straach, Michael Holt, Bob Anderson, Jim Saxe and Dennis and Eliza Paul.

Webster’s Secret Sauce

October 1st, 2019

Mayor Donna Rogers, center, welcomes American Furniture Warehouse Project Managers Jacob Colby and Nolan Morrison to the City of Webster.

By Mary Alys Cherry

How can a municipality that measures just 6.7 square miles be an economic development powerhouse? How can this small municipality be home to over 2,200 businesses, including 32 shopping centers, over 150 restaurants, entertainment venues, and sports training facilities, 20 hotels, three major hospitals and a medical center that accommodates 1.8 M patients annually, and an aerospace sector that’s created a plasma rocket engine, Orion spacecraft, and first American-made airlock for the International Space Station?

Webster, located midway between downtown Houston and Galveston, has some secret sauce! The City, whose residential population is just 10,000, is accustomed to accommodating 200,000 people daily for business, entertainment, recreation, and tourism. This City can be considered super-regional, as its market attracts those residing within a 30-mile radius, as well as a global visitor market for business and leisure.

This City, under the leadership of Mayor Donna Rogers, who has been the president of the Webster Economic Development Corporation since its inception in 1999, understands, practices, and leads business development in a pioneering light. When there is tenacity, creativity, responsiveness, and positive drive — a can-do attitude — regardless of obstacles — and there are always hurdles — the sauce contains the right ingredients! Webster’s sauce is a rare blend and pairs perfectly with business.

So, what is the formula in Webster’s economic development sauce?

American Furniture Warehouse Project Managers Jacob Colby and Nolan Morrison would say that they wish the Webster Team would act as consultants in other cities, as Webster knows how to get business done! Webster sets the bar high, which propelled American Furniture Warehouse to choose Webster for its first Texas store. The Webster experience was such that no other city comes close to providing this high level of service — and this mega project was fraught with hurdles.

First, there were three land owners — and the development amid 23 acres would not work without all three tracts, which had to be negotiated and purchased almost simultaneously.
Second, this was undeveloped land that required access and infrastructure — from a driveway cut on the I-45 feeder road from the Texas Department of Transportation to approximately 3,300 linear feet of new paving and City utilities funded by the Webster Economic Development Corporation.

Third, this project was complex and huge—from design, engineering, and construction to planned development guidelines and city council approval, to permitting and opening. The Webster team, from the fire marshal and chief building official who worked, oftentimes, after hours and weekends on inspections throughout a lengthy construction period to ensure compliance, to the extra efforts of Community Development’s administrative assistant to obtain property tax receipts from the school district so the properties could close on schedule, to the public works director’s herculean work in coordinating civil design, utilities, and construction, from start to completion, Webster’s secret sauce was unrivaled.

Throughout this multi-year process, the City’s relationship with the American Furniture Warehouse Project Team, Kevin Michalek, Nolan Morrison, Jacob Colby, and Broker Ben Brown is exceptional and invaluable.

This is a City that understands investment and seeks to work in concert with its constituents.