NASA calmed down despite Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter

Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, responded to concerns from some NASA executives about Elon Musk’s new activities on Twitter.

Busy schedule

Elon Musk finally formalized the takeover of Twitter at the end of October after several twists and turns. The head of SpaceX and Tesla said he would buy the social network for ” help humanity » and allow all opinions to be expressed freely. Of course, this incredible transaction is estimated 44 billion dollars – and the consequences that followed (layoffs of chains, rumblings of some big brands now refusing to advertise on Twitter) caused a lot of noise, forcing Musk to invest a lot of his time in his new business.

Exactly, Elon Musk’s schedule, even busier than before, could it not interfere with SpaceX’s activities? This is the question posed by several NASA executives a few days ago.

These concerns are legitimate. Indeed, remember that the US agency has targeted SpaceX to deposit its next astronauts on the Moon as part of its Artemis program. Or else, SpaceX is currently the only private service provider capable of transporting American astronauts to the International Space Station..

So has Twitter’s tumultuous takeover affected SpaceX’s work? To find out, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson recently spoke with Gwynne Shotwell, Elon Musk’s “right hand.” The two attended the Kennedy Center Honors, a celebration of American culture, in Washington. When asked if Twitter was a distraction, Shotwell replied, “ I assure you that is not the case“.

Gwynne Shotwell. Credit: Taylor Hill / FilmMagic

A formidable community

Musk, whose attention has long been diverted between SpaceX and the electric car manufacturer Tesla, today seems more distant than ever from the space scene. It’s just a feeling. Under the leadership of its boss, SpaceX remains in force today as efficiently as ever. The company dominates the launch market with its Falcon 9, while Starlink is becoming a major, if not significant, provider of satellite broadband. Recently, SpaceX also presented its Starshield project on behalf of US national security.

The starship is biding its time behind the scenes, but once again it seems progress is being made.

Lisa Watson-Morgan, NASA’s Human Landing System (HLS) program manager, recently said that SpaceX has so far been a ” fantastic partner“. As part of a recent tour of the company’s facilities, some NASA engineers were able to witness the first tests of one of Starship’s unique features: an elevator that allows astronauts to go from the crew cabin to the lunar surface. The design of this elevator, according to the engineers, was visibly robust, tolerant of multiple faults, and designed to operate in lunar conditions.

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