SpaceX President Delivers 2017 Wouk Lecture

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Gwynne Shotwell - President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX

A standing room only crowd packed into the Hameetman Auditorium at Caltech to hear Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SpaceX deliver the 2017 Victor Wouk Lecture, outlining SpaceX's planned path to a human settlement on Mars. "A private company has the flexibility to do things the way we want to do it. ... But frankly, I think without a lot of the experience from the Apollo and Shuttle days, we wouldn't be doing what we're doing today," she said, noting that NASA, while a SpaceX customer, was the company's partner during the development of the Dragon spacecraft, a reusable spacecraft that SpaceX uses to transport cargo to the International Space Station. "We were standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before us." The Wouk lectureship was established by the Engineering and Applied Science Division to bring experts on the latest advances in science and technology to Caltech. Victor Wouk devoted himself largely to developing hybrid motor vehicles and using semiconductors in electric vehicles. Wouk's interest in space travel began as a child, and as an adult, he ended up working with the team that developed fuel gauges for the "dune buggies" that roamed the surface of the moon during the Apollo program. [Caltech story]

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Division of Engineering and Applied Science