The projects are the brainchild of SpaceX founder Elon Musk. However, surveillance of SpaceX's daily operations falls on the shoulders of President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell. Shotwell is tasked with making Musk's bold visions a sustainable business. She juggles the risk behind the scenes.
Launching rockets is inherently associated with high stakes. Each time SpaceX illuminates one of its 230-foot launchers, many millions of dollars are in the line to send a payload into space. In 2018, Shotwell oversaw 20 flights of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. It also debuted with a new launch vehicle, the Falcon Heavy, which became the world's most powerful rocket.
But his biggest gambling is upon us.
The company wants to build a massive spaceship and rocket system called Starship and Super Heavy that would far outclass anything mankind ever built. Musk hopes one day to found a human colony on Mars.
. SpaceX is also at an early stage of developing a constellation of thousands of satellites, which could beam cheap high-speed Internet to Earth.
"Each of these developments, even if attempted separately, has bankrupted other organizations," SpaceX said in a statement The job cuts were announced.
Shotwell, 55, is not as well-known as her billionaire. But she has made a name for herself in the aerospace industry as the defeated leader of the world's most successful commercial missile company.
Matt Desch, head of the satellite company Iridium, a major SpaceX customer, said that Musk can Shotwell is regarded as the risk-taking boss of SpaceX and is the key to success.
It positions people at start time; She makes the tough business calls; and when Musk spurs controversy, "she is the purge," said Desch.
"That's one of their strengths," said Desch. "She is an experienced boss."
"Look, Elon is just trying to get on stage to make sure people understand that this is a demo flight," Shotwell told ArabSat executives. "We will not stand if we really believe the odds are as high as 50:50."
Despite the obvious challenges of working at Musk, Shotwell consistently states, "I love working for Elon."
Shotwell is not a stranger who can take a risk: she left a fixed position in aerospace Corporation, where she worked for a decade to take on a job in the startup world.
In 2002, the engineer Shotwell was the engineer by training, SpaceX became the first business development director and his seventh employee.
Steve Isakowitz, CEO of Aerospace Corporation, was at NASA when Shotwell and Musk were looking for early financing. SpaceX was virtually unknown at the time and had not launched a rocket into orbit yet. But Isakowitz said he was so impressed with Shotwell's sales talk that he told them he would write a check now if I could.
"In the early days when the first rocket was deployed, there were a lot of people saying that they could not do it," he said. "I give Gwynne a lot of credit."
Shotwell helped SpaceX later To conclude massive contracts with NASA, "which kept SpaceX alive during its lean years," wrote biochemist Ashlee Vance, "and it managed to sell about a dozen flights to a mix of government and business customers before SpaceX First [rocket] put into orbit. "
There is a solid public and private sector client book, the satellite or other payload SpaceX is to send Falcon 9 rockets into orbit on the SpaceX workhorses, and SpaceX is scheduled to fly with NASA astronauts to the International Space Station this summer, marking the first manned space flight in the company's history will show.
Shotwell does not fear that SpaceX can do anything of his bold promises.