Musk has several positions in SpaceX. What exactly does he need to do?


As the founder of SpaceX, a US space exploration technology company, Elon Musk holds several positions in the company, including CEO, CTO and chief designer. So what exactly does he need to do to play these roles?
In August this year, musk accompanied the space media reporter and the host of the “every astronaut” program on youtube, visited the “Starbase” facility of SpaceX in Boca Chica, a remote coastal town in Texas, and recorded the “day of SpaceX CEO”.
In the interview, which was divided into three parts, musk led Dodd to visit the SpaceX rocket launch site, including the interstellar spacecraft that will be launched in orbit for the first time and will eventually go to Mars for colonization, and discussed many engineering problems in detail. Their discussion involved many details, and it would never be suspected that musk himself designed these rockets. In fact, did he really help design the rocket?
Musk has many titles in SpaceX. In addition to the CEO, he is also the chief technology officer and chief designer of the company. However, given that musk also needs to take into account the business of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, brain computer interface start-up neuralink, tunnel excavation company the boring company and other companies, he himself said he would work 100 hours a week. Musk’s daily schedule is very compact. How much role can he play in the daily operation of SpaceX? Will it be like other companies’ ordinary rocket CTOs and designers?
Although musk is widely regarded as the spokesman of SpaceX, the company is supported by another key executive, Gwynne shotwell. Schotteville has been president and chief operating officer of SpaceX since 2008. Schotteville first joined SpaceX in 2002 to lead business development and was promoted to President after receiving an important contract from NASA.
In an interview with Sam Altman, founder of Y combinator, a business incubator, in 2016, musk said that schotteville manages all aspects of SpaceX. In addition to design and engineering, he can focus on the latter two things.
Musk told Altman: “Many people think I have to spend a lot of time dealing with the media or dealing with daily affairs. But in fact, I spend almost all my time on engineering, designing and developing the next generation of products. Schotville is responsible for legal, financial, sales and various commercial activities, and then I spend almost all my time on the engineering team dedicated to improving the Falcon 9 rocket and our dragon Spacecraft and develop facilities to help colonize Mars. ”
Falcon 9 rocket and dragon spacecraft are part of the space equipment operated by SpaceX. They regularly launch satellites, payloads and astronauts for NASA and other commercial customers.
Another key figure at the beginning of the establishment of SpaceX was rocket engine expert Tom Mueller, who was also one of the founding members of the company. Mueller was the head of SpaceX’s propulsion team until about 2016, and gradually retired from the background.
Musk mentioned in his 2019 tweet that Muller has been in a “semi retired” state for about five years and has not participated in the development of SpaceX’s latest Raptor engine, which is used on the current version of Falcon 9 rocket and starship. Musk said that the Raptor engine is “the result of the joint efforts of the team” and “there is no leader” SpaceX’s propulsion department is now led by will heltsley, a former senior executive of the team.
SpaceX did not respond to inquiries about Musk’s involvement in SpaceX’s recent efforts, such as the Starlink Satellite Internet and starship. However, media interviews and his personal social media account show that musk has made many important decisions on these projects.
For example, in the podcast of the Joe Rogan experience in February, musk said that the design of the Starship was inspired by the 2012 film the dictator starring British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In the interview, musk mentioned Cohen’s role as Admiral aladeen In one scene, he was the ruler of the fictional state wadiya, ordering engineers to build a nuclear missile with a spire instead of a dome first, on the grounds that “the dome is not terrible, but the spire is terrible”.
Musk said that the original design of the Starship was dome, but he told the engineers to make it sharper. Logan asked him, “because of the film dictator, do you really tell the engineers to design a pointed starship?” Musk replied with a smile: “Yes. They all know that. That doesn’t mean they didn’t realize the problem, but I think it would be interesting to make it sharper, so we did it!” (reviewed by Tencent technology / Jinlu)