Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hires Former NASA Employee Kathy Lueders

Kathy Lueders, former Deputy Administrator of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, before speaking to the media on May 30, 2020 following SpaceX’s launch of the Demo-2 mission.

Kim Shiftlett/NASA

Kathy Lueders, NASA’s youngest top human spaceflight official, has joined Elon Musk’s SpaceX after retiring from the agency a few weeks ago, CNBC has learned.

Lueders will assume the role of general manager, working out of the company’s “Starbase” facility in Texas and reporting directly to SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

It’s an important hire for SpaceX as the company aims to make its giant Starship rocket safe for human flight in the years to come. Lueders, a respected industry expert, is already familiar with the company’s past work in manned spaceflight.

The SpaceX spacecraft lifts off the launch pad April 20, 2023 during a flight test from the starbase in Boca Chica, Texas.

Patrick T Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Lueders’ hiring.

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Lueders retired from NASA in late April after a 31-year career with NASA. Before leading NASA’s manned space program, she served as manager overseeing the peak of the commercial crew program, including the first SpaceX missions with NASA astronauts.

Earlier this year and just before her retirement, SpaceX completed its sixth operational NASA crew launch, fulfilling its first contract for the agency. The company has received additional awards for eight other manned missions.

Specifically, Lueders follows in the footsteps of one of her most recent NASA predecessors, William Gerstenmaier, who joined SpaceX in 2020 after serving as the agency’s top official for human spaceflight for more than a decade. Gerstenmaier is now Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX.

Correction: The headlines and a caption for this story have been updated to correct the spelling of Kathy Lueders’ name.

How SpaceX defeated Boeing in the race to launch NASA astronauts into space

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/05/15/elon-musks-spacex-hires-former-nasa-official-kathy-lueders.html Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hires Former NASA Employee Kathy Lueders


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