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SpaceX hires former NASA official William Gerstenmaier -one of the world's top specialists in human spaceflight

by Evelyn Arevalo February 11, 2020

SpaceX hires former NASA official William Gerstenmaier -one of the world's top specialists in human spaceflight

Featured Image Source: NASA

SpaceX is just a few months away from conducting their very first manned mission that will take NASA Astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, that will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The first crewed flight could take place in May this year. NASA has not launched humans to space in almost a decade, SpaceX will ignite a new era where astronauts launch from American soil. Ultimately, SpaceX aims to launch astronauts to the moon and Mars, they just hired a former NASA official William Gerstenmaier, who specializes in human spaceflight. Previously, he worked for nearly 14 years as the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations. He also became Director of Space Shuttle and Space Station Freedom Assembly Operations, and was named Chief of the Projects and Facilities Branch of the Flight Design and Dynamics Division. Throughout his extensive career, he led the space shuttle program, the International Space Station, as well as the Commercial Crew program, among other space exploration projects. He even became the liaison to the Russian Space Agency for operations and protocols. So, Gerstenmaier is considered in the aerospace industry as one of the world’s top specialists in human spaceflight. As soon as the news of his new job position at SpaceX was announced, the head of Russian's state space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted his congratulations: 

 



According to CNBC, Gerstenmaier joined SpaceX as a consultant and is reporting to the Vice President of Mission Assurance at SpaceX Hans Koenigsmann. Leaders in the aerospace industry often describe Gerstenmaier as "the most influential person when it comes to United States spaceflight." Gerstenmaier's role at SpaceX is as a consultant, to prepare for the first manned mission to the space station.

 



Last month, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft passed a vital safety test, that demonstrated the craft's launch escape system is capable of saving lives if a rocket were to malfunction mid-flight. The first crewed mission will launch veteran NASA Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the Space Station sometime between April and June this year. Gerstenmaier will have vital role in providing insight to ensure the safety of Crew Dragon's first manned missions. Due to his expertise in human spaceflight and great influence in the industry, his job at SpaceX has potential to become a full-time position. In the future, he would be a great asset towards preparedness for launching humans aboard spacecraft to the moon and Mars.




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