A Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk’s Space X lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, with 5,500 pounds of supplies, experiments and cargo headed to the International Space Station.
The Dragon cargo capsule is expected to arrive at the Station on Wednesday. “I feel very confident of 2018,” Musk said on Twitter. Future plans call for sending a Dragon capsule to land on Mars in 2020.
The Sierra Foothills has a local link to the trail-blazing Space X program. Space X’s Director of Space Operations, Garrett Reisman, is the son-in-law of Delia Gutierrez, the chef-owner of the popular Casa Las Katarinas restaurant in Grass Valley.
Garrett is responsible for “all Dragon spacecraft (crew and cargo) missions including Mission Control center operations, tools, staffing and training and for development of the Crew Dragon human interfaces including displays, controls, procedures, human factors, training, and crew health and medical issues,” as his LinkedIn profile notes.
Garrett joined Space X, based in Hawthorne, in 2011 as a senior engineer and has been promoted since.
Dr. Reisman (a Caltech graduate) joined Space X from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration where he has served since 1998. He has flown on two Space Shuttle missions, logging over 3 months in space including over 21 hours of extravehicular activity (EVA) in 3 spacewalks. Musk founded Space X in 2002. He also is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla Inc., the electric-powered automaker, energy storage company, and solar panel manufacturer based in Palo Alto.
Casa Las Katarinas features space memorabilia, including a colorful ladybug figurine that traveled to outer space. Garrett brought the ladybug aboard the International Space Station in 2008. A certificate reads: “This object traveled a distance of 40,153,970 statute miles before returning aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.” It is on display in the restaurant with a photo of Garrett. Delia and her husband Dave Francis reopened their restaurant in Alta Sierra on Hwy. 49 last year after a successful 10-year-run in Nevada City.
Space X photo: Musk (center) and Reisman (right) inside Dragon spacecraft
Here’s a video of Sunday’s launch of Falcon 9 and Dragon Vertical at Pad 39A:
Here’s a video of Garrett: