Liftoff PDF Free: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX written by Eric Berger you can get this motivational book Liftoff PDF Free with single click download link. For those bold enough to fly to Mars, the summer of 2003 offered a hopeful sign of things to come. Due to the peculiarities of planetary motion, in July the red planet made its closest approach to Earth in sixty thousand years. At the time, a small company called SpaceX had just started cutting metal into its first rocket. Although it was a few years away from its inaugural launch, the firm’s founder, Elon Musk, had already taken the first step towards Mars. He understood that he would not go anywhere without the right people. So in interview after interview, Musk sought out brilliant, creative engineers who would fully commit to his goal and make the impossible possible.
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Brian Bjelde was unaware of the approach of Mars and Musk’s dreams that summer when he received a phone call from a former college classmate. They had bonded over nights in the aerospace lab at the University of Southern California, playing with vacuum chambers and small satellites. His friend, Phil Kassouf, raved about his new job for a demanding Silicon Valley billionaire. The guy had crazy plans to build a rocket and one day go to Mars. You should come take a tour, Kassouf said, giving his friend an address near the Los Angeles airport. Bjelde was living an enchanted existence at the time. The twenty-three-year-old cherub had gone from modest means in rural California to thriving in the big city. After graduating from U.S.C. As an aerospace engineer, Bjelde took a job at NASA’s prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory, just north of Los Angeles. In turn, NASA paid for graduate school at U.S.C. As a fraternity advisor, Bjelde enjoyed free accommodation along with his pick of the best weekend parties.
So when Bjelde arrived at SpaceX’s modest El Segundo headquarters, he really had just arrived for the tour. “You walk in, and there’s a desk, and there are two double glass doors,” Bjelde said. “I walked around the office, shaking hands. There were gray cubicles. There really was nothing on the tour. Just an empty factory. They had just polished off the factory floors.” What impressed Bjelde most was the Coca-Cola machine in the break room. Musk had imported this innovation from Silicon Valley: unlimited free soft drinks, to keep the workforce caffeinated at all hours. For someone from academia and the sober environment of NASA, this was news. Moving around the office, one of the dozen people at the cube farm asked Bjelde about his projects at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which builds robotic spacecraft to explore the Solar System. Bjelde discussed his use of semiconductors, plasma etching, and vapor pressure to develop new propulsion techniques for small satellites. Sure, someone replied, but what did he think about propulsion for large systems? Like, say, rockets? Suddenly he clicked. Bjelde hadn’t really been invited to a tour or to all the Cokes he could drink. This was a job interview. “I ended up in this room,” he said. “Unbeknownst to me, it was called the meat cupboard because it was so cold. Somehow, in the HVAC circuit, he got the superflow. It was very cold there.” Several people rotated. His friend, Kassouf, got there first. Then Phil’s boss, the company’s vice president of avionics, Hans Koenigsmann, spoke to Bjelde. Finally, Musk himself entered. Only a decade older than Bjelde, Musk was already a very wealthy and increasingly famous businessman. To break the ice, Bjelde made the usual small talk: It’s nice to meet you, I’ve heard a lot about you, I’m excited to be here. The hyper-observant Musk, who never likes jokes, jumped right into the questions. “Do you dye your hair?” Musk asked. Somewhat flustered, Bjelde said no. One of Musk’s common tactics during an interview is to throw a person off balance to see how a potential employee will react. In Bjelde, however, he had found someone with the gift of speech. Bjelde can talk to anyone. So, after quickly recovering, he asked Musk, “Is this an icebreaker? Because it’s working.”
But Musk said he was serious. He had noticed that Bjelde’s eyebrows were very light and his hair was darker than his. The young engineer explained that the disparity was natural. Soon, they were laughing. During the thirty-minute interview, Musk looked into Bjelde’s background, but also shared his vision for SpaceX, founded to make humanity a true spacefaring civilization. The success of NASA’s Apollo Moon program in the 1960s had stimulated a wave of student interest in math and science, spawning a generation of engineers, scientists, and teachers. But this tide had receded by the turn of the century. Bjelde’s generation had grown up with the space shuttle and its endless revolutions around the Earth in low Earth orbit, not with the exploits of the Apollo explorers. Unlike Bjelde, who had chosen his major literally because aerospace was listed first alphabetically under engineering, most of the cool kids weren’t in space anymore.
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Prologue of Liftoff PDF Free
Musk traveled to his South Texas rocket factory in mid-September 2019 to follow the progress of SpaceX’s Starship vehicle, the culmination of nearly two decades of efforts to move humans from Earth to Mars. Weeks earlier, Starhopper soared into clear skies over coastal scrub, located just this side of the Mexican border. And then, he almost crashed. Fortunately, the Federal Aviation Administration had restricted the maximum flight altitude to five hundred feet, so when engineers lost control during Starhopper’s descent, its landing legs simply crushed the steel-reinforced concrete of the deck, rather than to burst into a ball of fire. Musk laughed at this thought. For much of SpaceX’s life, he has battled regulators, always looking to go faster, push higher. “This time,” he joked, “the FAA saved us.” This was his first visit to Starhopper since then. Musk made the rounds, high-fived a handful of employees and hung out with three of his children who had come for the weekend trip from Los Angeles. Starhopper, he explained to the children, is made of stainless steel, the same material found in pots and pans.
This stainless steel, however, had the look of having been left in the open flame of a stove for too long. The deepening darkness of the night could not mask the extensive charring of the metal. Standing below Starhopper, Musk looked up into the cavern that housed a large fuel tank that had powered the propellant for a Raptor rocket motor. “He’s in pretty good shape considering we had hell there,” he said.
Elon Musk came a long way to get to these plains by rolling into the Gulf of Mexico. In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX with the intention of eventually building spacecraft that would carry hundreds and later thousands of human colonists to Mars. Although it is a cold world, probably dead and almost without air, Mars offers humanity the best place to expand beyond Earth. Mars has polar ice caps, useful chemicals in its thin atmosphere, and material to make a living. It is also relatively close, as the planets go. Over the years, Musk has accomplished a number of notable feats with SpaceX, launching astronauts into space, landing rockets on ships, and remaking the global aerospace industry. But those achievements pale next to the audacity of trying to send humans to Mars, which remains far beyond the current capabilities of NASA or any other space agency in the world. Even with an annual budget approaching $25 billion a year and some of the world’s smartest scientists and engineers, the space agency that put humans on the moon is still several giant steps away from sending some astronauts to Mars.
Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX covers the follwoing topis in this motivational ebook
1. Early Years
4. Flight One
5. Selling Rockets
6. Flight Two
8. Flight Three
9. Eight Weeks
10. Flight Four
11. Always Go to Eleven
Key SpaceX Employees from 2002 to 2008
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