SpaceX has been such a successful company mainly because of its versatile CEO Mr. Elon Musk. But there is another person who has been the backbone of the design activities of the rockets of the SpaceX company that have launched off to date. His name is Tom Mueller, who is one of the first employees of the SpaceX Company and joined in the year of 2002. After so many years he is now the propulsion chief technology officer.
Recently Mueller recalled how he created Merlin engines of the SpaceX. He also gave some hints on the mighty Raptor engines that will soon be unveiled. He came to take his Space pioneer award at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference. Before working with SpaceX, Mueller was associated with TRW for an extended period of 15 years. In his previous company, he was in charge of the propulsion and the combustion products and liquid rocket engine development. After hiring Mueller, Musk gave him the entire responsibility of designing the Falcon 9 rockets which derived its name from the Millennium Falcon of the “Star Wars” fame.
One of the engineers who was a partner of SpaceX in its earlier days had advised that the names of the rockets of the SpaceX could be kept after the kinds of Falcons. This is how the smallest engines of the SpaceX came to be called as the Kestrel, and the big rocket was named as the Merlin. The Merlin rocket has undergone several design alterations and modifications under the leadership of Mueller and his team. The latest of the version which is known as the Merlin 1D brought about a considerable revolution in the field of spaceflights when it was first launched in the year of 2013.
Over The last two years, SpaceX has become quite expert in the landing of rockets on the oceangoing platforms or even on the Florida landing zones. This activity of reusing rockets have already brought down the costing by $ 10 million for a Falcon 9 rocket production.
Company because it has produced thrust to the extent of 19000 pounds. The team of SpaceX is also targeting to reuse the rocket for a minimum of 10 times before it can be put to repairs and maintenance.
Now Mueller has shifted his attention towards working on the Raptor engine. It is this spacecraft that will be the transport spacecraft for SpaceX for taking people to Mars soon.