SpaceX hires Ex-NASA official for its Starship program

By Loren Grush | Bloomberg

SpaceX has hired Kathy Lueders, a former NASA associate administrator who recently retired from the space agency, to work on the company’s next-generation Starship program.

Lueders is a general manager at Starbase, SpaceX’s launch facility in southern Texas, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing personnel changes. SpaceX both builds and launches its massive deep-space Starship vehicle from the facility. The hiring was reported earlier by CNBC.

SEE MORE: SpaceX, Long Beach’s Vast Space to launch commercial space station

Prior to joining SpaceX, Lueders spent roughly three decades at NASA, working on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station programs. She served as the manager of the Commercial Crew Program, which worked extensively with SpaceX to launch the company’s first human spaceflight missions to the ISS. She also served as NASA’s first female associate administrator for human exploration.

Lueders left NASA at the end of last month. When she stepped down, she said on Twitter she was “taking some much-needed time off, but I’ll be back for my next adventure!”

Elon Musk’s launch company has a history of hiring former NASA officials. In 2020, the company brought on former NASA official William Gerstenmaier, who had served as NASA’s associate administrator for human spaceflight for about 14 years.

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