Posted: Friday, March 4, 2011
Joining Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance Team as SpaceX Prepares to Carry Astronauts
Hawthorne, CA- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is proud to announce that NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman is joining the company as a senior engineer working on astronaut safety and mission assurance.
"We're excited about the great team that we are building. Our talent is the key to our success. Garrett's experience designing and using spaceflight hardware will be invaluable as we prepare the spacecraft that will carry the next generation of explorers," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Technology Officer.
Dr. Reisman will join former NASA astronaut Ken Bowersox's team in preparing SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts. In December, Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully return from orbit. In the coming years, NASA will use Dragon for at least 12 cargo missions to the International Space Station, creating strong flight experience before the first manned mission.
"I am excited to help SpaceX because I care deeply about the future of human spaceflight," said Dr. Reisman. "I see commercial spaceflight as our country's best option for a robust and sustainable human spaceflight future."
Beyond safety, Dr. Reisman's experience as an operator of both American and Russian spaceflight hardware will help SpaceX in the development of human interfaces including controls, displays, seats, suits and environmental control systems.
"After the Space Shuttle's last flight later this year, America will be dependent on our Russian partners for getting NASA astronauts to space. NASA's commercial crew development program is our only hope for a quick, safe and affordable alternative, and SpaceX is well-positioned to lead this effort given the strength of their performance during the NASA COTS program," said Reisman.
Both the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft have been designed from the start to one day carry astronauts.
Dr. Reisman comes to SpaceX from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration where he has served since 1998. He has flown on two Space Shuttle missions, which include launching with STS-123 and returning with the STS-124 crew, as well as flying on STS-132. During these two missions, he logged over 3 months in space including over 21 hours of extravehicular activity (EVA) in 3 spacewalks. Dr. Reisman served with both the Expedition-16 and the Expedition-17 crews as a Flight Engineer aboard the International Space Station. Early in his time at NASA he was assigned to the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch, worked in the Astronaut Office Advanced Vehicles Branch, and was a crewmember on NEEMO V in 2003, living on the bottom of the sea in the Aquarius habitat for two weeks.
Dr. Reisman holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He is an FAA Certified Flight Instructor. Dr. Reisman is from Parsippany, New Jersey.
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft that is increasing the reliability and performance of space transportation, while ultimately reducing costs by a factor of ten. With the Falcon rockets, SpaceX has a diverse manifest of launches to deliver commercial and government satellites to orbit. After the Space Shuttle retires, the Falcon 9 and SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will start carrying cargo, including live plants and animals, to and from the International Space Station for NASA. Falcon 9 and Dragon were developed to one day carry astronauts.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Valor Equity Partners. The company has over 1,250 employees in California, Texas and Florida. For more information, and to watch the video of the Falcon 9 and Dragon launches, visit the SpaceX website at SpaceX.com.
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