The defeated SpaceX: unveiling musk and the scientific research power behind him

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 The defeated SpaceX: unveiling musk and the scientific research power behind him


According to an article published on the website of popular Machinery magazine in the United States, before meeting musk, Mueller gradually felt that many of his ideas about engine design had no room for application in TRWs daily work. To satisfy his creative inspiration, he began to build his own engines, put them on the fuselage of the plane, and started in the Mojave desert with other members of the reaction Research Club (RSS). RSS is the longest established amateur rocket club in the United States. Many of its members are employees of space companies. They meet regularly in Los Angeles.

Since the second half of 2001, Mueller has been developing liquid fuel rocket engines on his own in weekday evenings and weekends, first in his own garage, then in his friends warehouse. The engine was the largest amateur liquid fuel rocket engine in the world at that time, weighing 80 pounds and generating 13000 pounds of thrust. In early 2002, Muller met musk in the warehouse, who looked at the engine and asked a simple question: can you make a bigger one? After that, Mueller joined SpaceX. It is said that musk searched many peoples information for rocket designers at that time, and he appreciated Muellers experience in building and testing rocket engines and his previous work experience. During TRW, Mueller presided over the development of the tr-106 engine, which is a super thrust, low-cost liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen engine.

Under the leadership of Mueller, Merlin rocket engine was tested for the first time in October 2003, but failed. After 15 months of improvement, the test was successful. The Merlin engine is used in Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon heavy launch vehicles with high reliability. As of August this year, the latest version of Merlin 1D has maintained a record of 930 flights without accidents. TRW is a huge company with a small department, Muller once told the media, but here I am king.

Huang Zhicheng, a senior researcher at China Yuanwang think tank, told the global times that Gwen schotteville, President of SpaceX, is Musks most effective assistant. Her solid Aerospace Engineering Foundation and female management and coordination skills give him more time to think about technical issues.

According to the Los Angeles Times, schottville worked in the elsegondo research center of Aerospace Corporation for 10 years, during which she wrote dozens of papers on various topics such as small spacecraft conceptual design, space shuttle integration, and operational risk of reentry vehicles. In 1998, she headed the space systems division of a low-cost rocket manufacturer. In 2002, after just a few minutes of conversation, musk decided to give shortville the position of vice president of business development, who became SpaceXs No. 11 employee.

Schottville was the key figure in rescuing SpaceX from the brink of bankruptcy. In August 2008, musk faced collapse after SpaceX failed the third test flight of falcon-1. At the time, schottville explained to customers that their launch had been a success, all they had to do was repair a falcon 1 and spend some time separating the first and second stage rockets. In September, the trial was successful, and in December, SpaceX, on the brink of death, was awarded a NASA contract. After that, musk promoted him to President and chief operating officer of the company. We couldnt have done it without her. Musk once said so.

According to the US technology website techcrunch, Hussain has led the launch control software development projects of Falcon, heavy Falcon and manned dragon, which supported 40 rocket launches, 10 dragon spacecraft missions and 24 successful landings of SpaceX. For musk, Hussain, who joined the company in 2014, has made a great contribution. His experience between Tesla and SpaceX reflects his strong ability to withstand pressure.

Lu Qi, a Chinese data analyst at PayPal, is Musks iron powder. He told the Global Times: as far as I know, musk requires employees on a 24-hour basis. This workaholic wants his staff to complete the research and development work with the same efficiency as he does. Their code time is said to be calculated in seconds. Because of this, the people who can work with musk are his own kind. In addition to their strong professional ability, they also have the passion to burn life for their dreams. Some people may think that they are geeks, but only with this strength can they withstand the impact of failure and the risk of breaking the capital chain.

According to media reports, musk appreciates the fighting spirit of young people. Almost all the ordinary engineers working for SpaceX are just graduated from school. He often goes to the top universities to inquire about the best students in person, and even calls them to invite them to realize their dreams together. According to CNBC, SpaceX has about 8000 employees.

Since SpaceX was founded in June 2002, musk has been the core and soul of the company, both at the management and technical levels. Huang Zhicheng told the global times that the companys success in innovation is first and foremost attributed to Musks first principles thinking. This concept was first put forward by Aristotle. He believed that in any system, there is a first principle, that is, a basic proposition or hypothesis that cannot be omitted or violated. Musk once said that in life, people always tend to compare and follow what others have done or are doing. The result of such development can only produce small iterative changes.. In his opinion, we should look at the world from the perspective of physics, that is, to see the essence of things. Huang Zhicheng said that Musks first principle thinking can be understood as the simplest, that is, the most reliable and the cheapest, so the Falcon heavy launch vehicle used 27 identical Merlin engines.

Secondly, SpaceX itself has the spirit of Silicon Valley and Internet gene, which has injected new vitality into the field of space system engineering. Huang Zhicheng analyzed that the traditional space system engineering advocates exposing as much risk as possible in the preliminary design to reduce the error cost, so a lot of time and energy will be invested in the preliminary design stage. SpaceX emphasizes the experience generated after each complete iteration. The cost of completing the design, development and test process is much lower than that in the last century. Moreover, the experience from each complete iteration actually means that the overall cost of the project is reduced.

Trial and error is one of the basic principles that Silicon Valley encourages innovation. Here, new companies are born every day, and countless enterprises go bankrupt. But it is in this continuous tempering that the technology giants such as apple, Google and Facebook have emerged. Nana, who is starting a business in Silicon Valley, told the global times. Raymond simonius, who has left SpaceX, once said, trial and error are very important. If you dont understand the core question, you may not get the exact answer But the rough test tells you: Im closer to the answer.

SpaceXs success is based on repeated failures and failures. In March 2006, SpaceX launched its first falcon-1 rocket. After 25 seconds of ignition, the rocket, which had accumulated the efforts of the team for many years, hit the launch site heavily. A year later, the second launch persisted for a longer time - the rocket burned and exploded about five minutes after liftoff; in August and September 2008, SpaceX conducted two consecutive launch tests of falcon 1, Finally, it succeeded in the second test.

In Nanas view, Musks success more or less also has some element of luck, because its development fields happen to be the industries supported by the U.S. government. Dmitri Rogozin, President of Russias national space company, said that Musks team could receive state funding, inherit NASAs retired space shuttle, and bring the agencys top professionals and scientific research equipment under his command, and the resources consumed were several times the cost of Russian research and development.

According to the BBC, NASA invested $50 million in the Obama administrations manned space program in 2010, and SpaceX and Boeing became the only two companies in the project in 2014, which signed contracts with NASA. NASA also provided a lot of support for SpaceXs rocket and spacecraft research and development, and opened up some technologies of Apollo program to support the R & D and test of Falcon series rocket engines. According to the CNBC website, NASA has provided SpaceX with $3.1 billion for research and development just for the launch of the manned dragon spacecraft. In addition, many NASA scientists have joined the company. Bill gerstenmayr, who recently retired from NASA, began his career as a consultant to SpaceX after 42 years of work on the shuttle program, according to the US News Agency. Huang Zhicheng told the global times that when SpaceX announced the new astronaut safety and Mission Assurance Department in 2009, they hired NASA astronaut Kenneth bowesox as the Departments director and vice president.

Space X also believes that the high degree of civil military integration in the United States also benefits from its military and civilian integration. According to Reuters, in May 2015, the U.S. military issued certification to SpaceX, allowing it to enter the U.S. military launch market, launch military satellites and perform space missions related to national defense and security. Since 2016, the company began working with the U.S. air force, which awarded a $83 million satellite launch contract. In addition, the U.S. Air Force has provided funding for the development of SpaceXs new generation liquid oxygen methane engine Raptor, with an estimated total investment of $61 million, accounting for about one third of SpaceXs total investment. What enlightenment can SpaceX experience bring to Chinas aerospace industry? The situation in China and the United States is totally different. Huang Zhicheng told the global times that there is no state-owned enterprise in the U.S. aerospace industry, which can only be divided into traditional space companies and emerging start-up companies. China has a strong Aerospace state-owned enterprise, aerospace science and technology group, which has a history of more than 60 years, has a large number of infrastructure and a large number of elite talents. He said that Chinas commercial aerospace industry should adhere to the new national system under the new situation. In the face of challenges from other countries, China should step up the reform of state-owned enterprises, greatly improve innovation ability and work efficiency. On the other hand, it should encourage social capital to enter Chinas commercial space market as far as possible, and cultivate a number of new private aerospace enterprises. Source: Global Times Author: ZHENG Ke, editor in charge: Wang Xiaowu_ NF

Space X also believes that the high degree of civil military integration in the United States also benefits from its military and civilian integration. According to Reuters, in May 2015, the U.S. military issued certification to SpaceX, allowing it to enter the U.S. military launch market, launch military satellites and perform space missions related to national defense and security. Since 2016, the company began working with the U.S. air force, which awarded a $83 million satellite launch contract. In addition, the U.S. Air Force has provided funding for the development of SpaceXs new generation liquid oxygen methane engine Raptor, with an estimated total investment of $61 million, accounting for about one third of SpaceXs total investment.

What enlightenment can SpaceX experience bring to Chinas aerospace industry? The situation in China and the United States is totally different. Huang Zhicheng told the global times that there is no state-owned enterprise in the U.S. aerospace industry, which can only be divided into traditional space companies and emerging start-up companies. China has a strong Aerospace state-owned enterprise, aerospace science and technology group, which has a history of more than 60 years, has a large number of infrastructure and a large number of elite talents. He said that Chinas commercial aerospace industry should adhere to the new national system under the new situation. In the face of challenges from other countries, China should step up the reform of state-owned enterprises, greatly improve innovation ability and work efficiency. On the other hand, it should encourage social capital to enter Chinas commercial space market as far as possible, and cultivate a number of new private aerospace enterprises.