NASA official Vanessa E. Wyche met with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell to discuss the agency's ongoing partnership on November 11th. Ms. Wyche is an engineer who became the 13th Director of the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in June 2021. "It was a pleasure hosting SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell at NASA [...] this week. During her visit, as a part of our internal DARE | UNITE | EXPLORE campaign, Gwynne met with our senior staff and employees, and also discussed the evolution of SpaceX’s partnership with NASA during a town hall meeting and fireside chat. Following the event, Gwynne visited with employees, toured our Commercial Low-Earth Orbit program tables and spoke with NASA subject matter experts," shared Wyche in a LinkedIn post.
Wyche also shared photographs on Twitter of Shotwell's visit to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, (pictured below). NASA has not released video footage of their meeting. It is likely that they discussed NASA and SpaceX Commercial Crew Program partnership, as well as their collaboration on future endeavors. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft have launched a total of eight crewed missions – out of those, six missions launched crews of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The program officially returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States in May 2020 after nearly a decade of dependency on Russia's Roscosmos Space Agency to launch astronauts to the orbiting laboratory. Currently, SpaceX's NASA Crew-5 astronauts are working at ISS while a Dragon spacecraft is docked to the Harmony module. SpaceX is the only American company capable of transporting astronauts to and from the Space Station.
Shotwell and Wyche likely also discussed the newest partnership that aims to return humanity to the Moon as part of the Artemis program. It's been around 50 years since astronauts last set foot on the lunar surface. SpaceX is developing a Starship Human Landing System (HLS) that will enable the first woman and next man to land on our closest celestial neighbor by 2025. This week, the agency awarded SpaceX an additional $1.5 billion to launch a second crewed flight to the Moon in 2027.Starship is actively under development in South Texas and the company is also building a launch pad to accommodate the Super Heavy rocket at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Shotwell was recently appointed to oversee Starship development operations at Starbase, Texas. Read more: SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell Will Oversee Starship Development Operations In Texas
Following the event, Gwynne visited with employees, toured our Commercial Low-Earth Orbit program tables and spoke with NASA subject matter experts.#GiantLeapStartHere— Vanessa Wyche (@v_wyche) November 11, 2022
Featured Images Source: NASA