Gwynne Shotwell: SpaceX's plan to fly you across the globe in 30 minutes
As president and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations. Full bioChris Anderson - TED Curator
After a long career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2002 and has developed it as a platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading. Full bio
Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.
something crazy happened.
this caught so many people's attention?
for the beginning,
three, two, one.
an important moment for SpaceX.
and now the Falcon Heavy,
been conceived or is conceived right now.
of Falcon Heavy later this year,
a thousand people
why not put a Tesla into space?
and President of SpaceX?
that the girls weren't doing.
when I was in third grade,
a book, and I read it,
out of my mechanical engineering degree
in the automotive industry.
not because of that book
to a Society of Women Engineers event,
the mechanical engineer that spoke.
girl connects with.
from telling that story,
to be an engineer --
employee number seven at SpaceX,
relationship with NASA,
first three launches blew up.
is all about relationships
with these customers.
is selling your team,
to sell these days --
that any technical issue that they have
you can address right away.
for me to be an engineer.
of running sales for Elon.
a big focus of the company
the service to NASA
come to the fore, here.
I'm a good sleeper, that's my best thing.
to our flying crew
safety comes in the design
to fly people on,
on this technology.
to be able to carry crew.
engineering in these safety systems
that actually allows instant escape
the launch escape system.
of a test that we ran in 2015.
a really bad day on the pad.
to get out of Dodge.
another demonstration later this year
with the rocket during flight.
potential function as well, eventually.
for Dragon is pretty unique.
are integrated into the capsule,
it pushes the capsule away.
have been like tractor pullers,
you can safely reenter that capsule,
that possibility of failure.
the regular reusability of rockets
space program, for example,
on the shoulders of giants. Right?
and the developments to date,
that we had to include
around legacy components
or were particularly expensive,
drive the design of these systems.
started from scratch.
you let physics drive the design,
actually, of that,
the vehicle design
that we wanted to make.
it's a common dome design.
more payload for the same design.
that we're flying right now
liquid oxygen and densified RP,
more propellent into the vehicle.
of margin to the vehicle,
of SpaceX 10 years ago, I think.
so closely with Elon Musk?
this year, actually.
to do something for 16 years
him saying anything
best placed to answer this question,
on this strange unit of time
I asked Elon, you know,
auto-drive across America,
if you take Elon time into account.
between Elon time and real time?
in a unique position, Chris.
is very aggressive on his timelines,
to do things better and faster.
and all the money in the world
to move quickly is really important.
kind of a key intermediary role here.
that have their impact,
might blow up a team
of saying, "Yes, Elon,"
in a way that is acceptable
to your employees.
realizations for that.
you have to pause
"Well, that's impossible,"
to do that. I don't know how."
was to take these ideas
make them achievable,
from this steep slope, get it comfortable.
I felt like we were there,
people were getting comfortable,
that that's his job,
close to comfortable
and put us back on that slope,
that the conversation ratio
and you said it, I didn't.
rumored to be working on,
thousands of low earth orbit satellites
low-cost internet connection
you can tell us about this?
about this particular project,
one of the most challenging
project we've undertaken.
for internet broadband,
is the difficulty here.
with the right technology solution,
about 10 billion dollars or more
not claiming victory yet.
obviously, if that happened to the world,
would be pretty radical,
if suddenly everyone can connect cheaply.
it'll change the world.
on the planning is it,
number of satellites in orbit.
there's no question --
are pretty devastating.
a bunch of particles in orbit
from being useful for decades or longer.
our second stage after every mission
a rocket carcass orbiting earth.
a good steward of that.
the remarkable success there
as your future development plan.
to a much bigger rocket
CA: The Big Falcon Rocket, that's right.
in that incredible technology,
to something much bigger. Why?
been developing these launch systems.
a new product before we've been able
is the product that they should move to,
the Big Falcon Rocket now,
flying Falcon 9s and Falcon Heavies
widespread acceptance of BFR.
Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy
to take humanity to Mars?
other business ideas for this.
that we're currently taking to orbit
of satellites to be delivered to orbit.
of the fairing is eight meters,
what giant telescopes
in that cargo bay,
GS: It's a residual capability.
Talk about what the heck this is.
the Statue of Liberty in it,
of that Falcon Heavy Rocket.
there are 27 engines there.
inventing ever bigger rockets,
for the Falcon 1 launch vehicle.
for the Falcon 9.
on a brand new engine,
on the back end of Falcon 9.
glue three Falcon 9s together
operational rocket flying.
than starting from scratch.
of how much bigger than that,
two and half times the size of this.
this video that we're about to play here.
space travel for earthlings.
is we're going to fly BFR like an aircraft
from New York City or Vancouver
half an hour or 40 minutes,
yeah, it's so awesome.
is actually the boat out and back.
this is awesome, but it's crazy, right?
going to happen.
to accept this incoming missile --
us trying to convince a federal range,
on federal property on an Air Force base.
it's only five kilometers out from a city.
can possibly afford the fortune
roughly a hundred passengers.
about the business.
are really expensive,
with airline tickets here?
if I can do this trip
can only make one of those flights a day.
was slightly more expensive
a little bit more expensive,
what they're running in a day,
that I need to out of that system.
to be deployed at some point
I'm sure Elon will want us to go faster.
because I travel a lot
my customers in Riyadh,
and be back in time to make dinner.
an economy price ticket,
per person to fly New York to Shanghai.
economy and business,
that is definitely something.
of BFR is being developed
quite a detailed, sort of, picture
this is a cropped video
there's a couple of new bits to it.
to lift off from a pad,
the Big Falcon Spaceship.
the spaceship off in orbit,
we're returning boosters right now.
but we're working on the pieces,
on the pad that we launched from.
or we land out on a boat.
refuel the spaceship,
go to Mars at one time,
on how big the rocket is.
and we'll continue to make
will land the first human on Mars?
from the point-to-point.
not this decade.
where this is the official stated mission.
bought into that mission,
there's a lot of people around
you've got so much talent,
that need urgent attention.
off to another planet?
to expand our minds a little bit.
working on that.
the most important things we possibly can,
for humans to live and survive and thrive.
for the human species.
and doing a better job taking care of it,
multiple paths to survival,
all earthlings don't die.
that's a terrible reason to go do it.
it's another place to explore,
different from animals,
and sense of wonderment
in us moving to other solar systems
I ever out-vision Elon,
in other solar systems.
a fixer-upper planet.
to make it habitable.
or whatever they call themselves,
amazing jobs on the planet.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERSGwynne Shotwell - Space leader
As president and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations.
Why you should listen
Gwynne Shotwell joined SpaceX in 2002 as vice president of business development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 70 launches, representing more than $10 billion in business. Shotwell is a member of the SpaceX Board of Directors.
Prior to joining SpaceX, Shotwell spent more than 10 years at the Aerospace Corporation, holding positions in space systems engineering and technology and project management. Shotwell was subsequently recruited to be director of Microcosm's space systems division, managing space system technologies, serving on the executive committee and directing corporate business development.
In 2014, Shotwell was appointed to the United States Export Import Bank's Advisory Committee and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. She has been awarded the World Technology Award for Individual Achievement in Space, has been inducted into the Women In Technology International Hall of Fame and was elected to the honorable grade of Fellow with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
SpaceX supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs locally as well as national engineering programs and competitions. Shotwell has helped raise over $1.4 million for STEM education programs reaching thousands of students nationwide.
Shotwell received, with honors, her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics, and she serves as both a University Trustee and a member of the Advisory Council for Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. She has authored dozens of papers on a variety of space-related subjects.
Gwynne Shotwell | Speaker | TED.com
Chris Anderson - TED Curator
After a long career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2002 and has developed it as a platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading.
Why you should listen
Chris Anderson is the Curator of TED, a nonprofit devoted to sharing valuable ideas, primarily through the medium of 'TED Talks' -- short talks that are offered free online to a global audience.
Chris was born in a remote village in Pakistan in 1957. He spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his parents worked as medical missionaries, and he attended an American school in the Himalayas for his early education. After boarding school in Bath, England, he went on to Oxford University, graduating in 1978 with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics.
Chris then trained as a journalist, working in newspapers and radio, including two years producing a world news service in the Seychelles Islands.
Back in the UK in 1984, Chris was captivated by the personal computer revolution and became an editor at one of the UK's early computer magazines. A year later he founded Future Publishing with a $25,000 bank loan. The new company initially focused on specialist computer publications but eventually expanded into other areas such as cycling, music, video games, technology and design, doubling in size every year for seven years. In 1994, Chris moved to the United States where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine and creator of the popular video game users website IGN. Chris eventually merged Imagine and Future, taking the combined entity public in London in 1999, under the Future name. At its peak, it published 150 magazines and websites and employed 2,000 people.
This success allowed Chris to create a private nonprofit organization, the Sapling Foundation, with the hope of finding new ways to tackle tough global issues through media, technology, entrepreneurship and, most of all, ideas. In 2001, the foundation acquired the TED Conference, then an annual meeting of luminaries in the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design held in Monterey, California, and Chris left Future to work full time on TED.
He expanded the conference's remit to cover all topics, including science, business and key global issues, while adding a Fellows program, which now has some 300 alumni, and the TED Prize, which grants its recipients "one wish to change the world." The TED stage has become a place for thinkers and doers from all fields to share their ideas and their work, capturing imaginations, sparking conversation and encouraging discovery along the way.
In 2006, TED experimented with posting some of its talks on the Internet. Their viral success encouraged Chris to begin positioning the organization as a global media initiative devoted to 'ideas worth spreading,' part of a new era of information dissemination using the power of online video. In June 2015, the organization posted its 2,000th talk online. The talks are free to view, and they have been translated into more than 100 languages with the help of volunteers from around the world. Viewership has grown to approximately one billion views per year.
Continuing a strategy of 'radical openness,' in 2009 Chris introduced the TEDx initiative, allowing free licenses to local organizers who wished to organize their own TED-like events. More than 8,000 such events have been held, generating an archive of 60,000 TEDx talks. And three years later, the TED-Ed program was launched, offering free educational videos and tools to students and teachers.
Chris Anderson | Speaker | TED.com