SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell earns 2023 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell earns 2023 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement

SpaceX President and Chief Operation Officer Gwynne Shotwell is one of the best stories of success for women working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. She studied at Northwestern University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics. Shotwell has over 20 years of experience working in day-to-day management at SpaceX since the early days in 2002, and has played an important role in the company's growth. She leads nearly 13,000 employees across all of the SpaceX facilities.

In 2022 Forbes listed Shotwell as the 31st most powerful woman in the world. And in 2020 she was included on TIME magazine's list of the 100 most influential people on Earth. On April 28, Gwynne earned the 2023 National Space Trophy for Space Achievement from the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation. The National Space Trophy is presented annually to an American who has made major contributions to the United States’ space exploration programs. The organization is led by a Board of Advisors that include NASA center directors, the U.S. military, scientists, among other outstanding individuals of varying professions who are highly involved in space activities. “The RNASA Foundation is excited to recognize Ms. Shotwell as the guest of honor at the 2023 Space Award Gala,” stated the President of RNASA Rodolfo Gonzalez.

This past week, RNASA held a formal banquet to honor Ms. Shotwell and other leaders in the space industry at the Houston Hyatt Regency located in Houston, Texas. RNASA shared a broadcast of the event, linked below. NASA Astronaut Woody Hobart, who is currently working at the International Space Station (ISS), sent a video message dedicated to Ms. Shotwell when she received the award. “[...] We extend our heartfelt, Congratulations to Gwynne Shotwell for receiving the National Space trophy. Gwynne, you have had an amazing career. Under your leadership the SpaceX team has given us the ability to launch astronaut crews from the United States and return them safely to Earth…,” said astronaut Hobart. NASA had not launched astronauts to the ISS since 2011, the agency depended on Russia’s Roscosmos Space Agency to launch American astronauts to space. The U.S. dependency on Russia ended when SpaceX launched astronauts to ISS in May 2020, and has performed routine crewed missions since. “... On behalf of those who directly benefit from your outstanding work, I can't think of anyone more deserving to receive the National Space trophy, thank you and congratulations to all,” he said while floating in microgravity at the ISS Lab.

Shotwell was nominated for the award by Delalune Space founder and CEO Rob Meyerson; he was honored to present her with the award at the formal event, pictured below. “...It takes a special person to connect the vision, the engineering, and the money in the right way – Gwynne is that person,” he said, “Thank goodness Gwynne chose aerospace over the automotive industry where she began her career. Had Gwynne stayed at Chrysler, we’d likely have arrived here tonight in autonomous flying cars,” said Meyerson jokingly and the audience laughed. “But I for one am very happy with the way things turned out.” Meyerson shared that he met Ms. Shotwell over 20 years ago and that they have worked together in a brief anecdote, then he presented her with the trophy. “[...] SpaceX is making space access routine and has led the explosive growth of the industry over the past 5 years,” he said. “Thank you so much for the acknowledgement,” said Shotwell, “...Of course, I am going to thank Elon [Musk] and of course, I'm gonna’ thank the nearly 13,000 extraordinary ‘SpaceXers’,” she said in reference to all employees. During her ‘thank you’ speech she talked about the company’s achievements. Watch the full event in this video link: RNASA 2023 FULL EVENT VIDEO

》 Author's note: H/T - Special thanks to a TESMANIAN reader Shannon Hulbert who attended the event and shared photos. Write your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any story suggestions or feedback, feel free to Direct Message me on Twitter: Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve Read my most recent stories here: Recent News Stories 《  

 All Featured Images Source: @ShannonRHulbert via Twitter

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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