Headlines > News > Dr. Jeff Ward to Join SpaceX

Dr. Jeff Ward to Join SpaceX

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:44 pm
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SpaceX Press Release; Against the backdrop of preparations for next week’s test launch of its Falcon 1 vehicle, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) today announced the appointment of Dr. Jeff Ward as Vice President of Avionics, Guidance and Control. Dr. Ward has previously served as Managing Director and Technical Director of UK small-satellite specialists Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, in which SpaceX holds a 10% equity stake.

Dr. Ward has been one of the principal architects of the world’s most successful small satellite program, where he managed twenty-four satellite missions under fixed-price contracts with customers including the U.S. Air Force and ESA. He brings to SpaceX unique insight into the technical and programmatic methods that successfully deliver affordable, reliable space projects.

This key appointment broadens the SpaceX management team as the Company continues to expand rapidly in response to strong market demand for its low-cost launch vehicles. Ward becomes responsible for the SpaceX engineering team developing avionics hardware and software for Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and the Dragon cargo/crew spacecraft.

Commenting on the appointment, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated, “Jeff Ward has over twenty years experience creating new paradigms for spaceflight, developing the engineering and management solutions that routinely deliver reduced cost and increased reliability. He is a valuable addition to the SpaceX team at a time when we are simultaneously implementing three ground-breaking development programs.”

Dr. Ward himself feels that, “reliable, affordable launch vehicles are the key to a new space age. The Falcon launchers and the Dragon capsule will stimulate an unprecedented boom in commercial and governmental space activity, and it is a rare privilege to be asked to join the SpaceX team at such a critical juncture.”

(Dr. Ward has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in spacecraft engineering from the University of Surrey, UK.)

About SpaceX

SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of both manned and unmanned space transportation ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, SpaceX is able to offer light, medium and heavy lift capabilities, as well as deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions.

The Dragon spaceship is designed to transport up to seven astronauts, as well as both pressurized and unpressurized cargo, to Earth orbit and back. Dragon’s universal docking adapter allows it to interface with all current International Space Station docking/berthing systems, as well as future systems under development.

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