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ISPCS Morning Session: Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 16, 2013
Filed under , , , , , , ,

ispcs_logoThe International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) got started formally this morning in Las Cruces, NM, with its first four speakers. The conference runs through Thursday evening.

Although I couldn’t be there, several people are Tweeting the event live. Below is a compilation of Tweets from Jeff Fust and others on the talk by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell on Wednesday morning.

I will try to keep up with the conference from Mojave and provide summaries of speakers as I can.
Jeff Foust @Jeff Foust

  • Gwynne Shotwell says that SpaceX is now up to about 3,800 employees, counting contractors working for the company.
  • Shotwell: 600 more people to hire in next couple months. Finding good software people the hardest skills to fill.
  • Shotwell: we called the upgraded Falcon 9 the v1.1 so not to scare anybody, but it’s really a v1000.1, a brand new launch vehicle.
  • Shotwell said after the talk SpaceX is wrapping up their investigation of the 2nd stage relight issue, should be done by week’s end.
  • Shotwell didn’t go into details about investigation, but indicated the issue wasn’t major, or a surprise, and next launch on track.
  • Shotwell: SpaceX now into what we consider regular operations. Two comm’l satellite launches this year, up to 4 CRS missions in ’14.
  • Shotwell: still interested in launching secondary payloads; plan to have P-PODs on every flight going forward.
  • Shotwell: Grasshopper vehicle is “an absolute rock star,” in the news more than Elon.
  • Shotwell: interested in expanding our Florida footprint; but also interested in sites in Tex., Ga., Puerto Rico.
  • Shotwell: we hope to fly people on crewed Dragon in 2016. Leaning towards having NASA astronauts on that 1st flight.
  • Shotwell: not a business case for going to Mars, but can’t think of another thing as important as moving humanity off Earth.

Additional Tweets

Justin Kugler ‏@phalanx

  • Gwynne Shotwell of spacex tells ispcs they matched NASA’s $396M for COTS with $450M. Got Falcon 9 out of it.

Launch Florida’s Future @Launch FL’s Future ‏

  • “Shiloh maybe,” says Gwynne Shotwell, President & COO of SpaceX, on future launch sites in Florida and elsewhere.

Joel Achenbach @Joel Achenbach

  • SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell says human landing on Mars plausible in 13-15 years.

3 responses to “ISPCS Morning Session: Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX”

  1. Guest says:

    2016, huh? There were 1,882 days during the shuttle program when we weren’t flying shuttles (post Columbia & post Challenger). 1,882 days from STS-135 wheels stop would be 14 September 2016. I wonder which duration of “we can’t launch Americans from American soil” will be longer.

    • therealdmt says:

      I’ve been expecting 2015. Too bad. If the pad abort test goes well this winter, then there’s a launch abort test planned for late spring, I think. After that, and with a couple of more Dragon cargo flights under their belt by the end of 2014, I’d think they should be pretty much ready to go (barring setbacks).

      The Falcon 9 v1.1 would be especially well tested by then (again, barring setbacks), with a Falcon Heavy demo flight and hopefully at least one full Falcon 9R return of first stage demo really having explored the possibilities of the system, plus the commercial satellite launches.

      • Michael Vaicaitis says:

        I too was expecting/hoping for (early) 2015. Assuming the in-flight (i.e. max Q) abort test falls back to middle of 2014, that’s still 18months till the start of 2016.

        Perhaps they want to fly and land Dragon2 a certain number of times via CRS before first crewed flights?.
        Perhaps NASA have asked Spacex not to embarrass them by being ready to go operational too soon before the Soyuz commitment ends?.

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