Hue Nguyen, 64, is a clothier at Leidos in Webster, Texas.
Q: How did you apprentice sewing?
A: Back I was growing up in South Vietnam, my mom’s acquaintance had a accouterment alterations business, and I admired watching her sew. One day I asked for some added bolt to accomplish clothes for my doll. She accomplished me how to sew buttons on her customers’ accouterment and gave me a little money to buy candy.
Eventually, to save my parents money, I started authoritative clothes for my siblings. In aerial academy I accomplished adolescent accouchement and advised bed-making instead of after an bookish path. I accelerating with a affidavit in bed-making and accomplished aboriginal and additional brand in a clandestine academy afterward.
Q: How did your career develop?
A: In 1975, an uncle in the South Vietnamese Army helped my ancestors escape by boat. We catholic to the Philippines, and again to a refugee affected in the United States, assuredly clearing in San Antonio. I got a job bed-making at a men’s accouterment abundance and again did alterations for assorted conjugal shops.
After accepting children, I started a home business bed-making conjugal gowns, bridesmaid dresses and added items. Back they were older, I began bed-making for several amplitude industry companies, and in 2011, I started as a bed-making artisan at Leidos, a science, engineering and IT casework company.
Q: What types of items do you sew?
A: Leidos has several affairs with NASA at the Johnson Amplitude Centermost in Houston, including some accompanying to burden acumen and astronaut performance. I adapt some of the astronauts’ accouterment by removing buttons and snaps that can breach off in space, float abroad and accident equipment, and I add Velcro on abridged flaps to accumulate items from escaping. I additionally architecture and adapt burden bags, blankets and so forth.
Q: Do you additionally fit the astronauts?
A: I do. Their spacesuits consistently assume to charge altering back they appear from the manufacturer, so I biking to the amplitude centermost for that. At aboriginal I was star-struck, but I see them adequately generally and I’m not abashed anymore. I aloof appetite to do a acceptable job.
In 2014, an astronaut gave me a Silver Snoopy award, their claimed accomplishment award. I was so afraid in advanced of bodies that I don’t alike bethink his name.
Q: Do you sew by hand?
A: I sew Velcro on baby pockets by hand, but mostly I sew by machine. I use two heavy-duty, bartering ones; addition with a 5-foot arm for ample items; one for failing material; and a serger, which sews a bond and finishes it in one action and additionally removes the added material.
Q: What has been decidedly arduous to assignment on?
A: A thermal awning for the astronauts’ agenda cameras. It bare nine layers of insulation to accommodated spaceflight requirements and assure the camera from the acute temperatures, which change from minus-250 degrees to 250 degrees Fahrenheit back the camera moves amid adumbration and absolute sunlight in space.
The astronauts charge to be able to accomplish buttons on the camera and alter the battery, photo agenda and lens in their beefy spacesuits and gloves, so I cut openings in the cover, added flaps and acclimated Velcro for closing them. I fabricated a arrangement and again a mock-up.
Following that I fabricated a prototype, congenital a few accessory adjustments from the applicant and again fabricated the final product. I sewed two covers for training and four for spaceflight, and back they afflicted the camera, I had to redesign the awning and accomplish more.
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