SpaceX propulsion guru looks ahead to Mars

Tom Mueller
Tom Mueller, SpaceX’s propulsion chief technology officer, meets his fans at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

LOS ANGELES — SpaceX’s success owes a lot to the tenacity of the company’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, but some of the credit has to go to the guy who designed the engines that make the rockets go.

That would be Tom Mueller, who was one of SpaceX’s first employees back in 2002 and now serves as its propulsion chief technology officer.

Today Mueller recounted the creation of SpaceX’s Merlin engines, and dropped some hints about the more powerful Raptor engines to come, while picking up a Space Pioneer Award here at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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