Michigan Alumni help with SpaceX’s Dragon

SpaceX’s Dragon, the first cargo-carrying private spacecraft, made its way back to Earth Thursday, and it was helped along the way by Michigan engineers.

“Our students are flocking to companies like SpaceX,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, professor of space science and aerospace engineering at U-M. “Many of them started out at another company and then left to go work there. They are leaving higher-paid, more stable jobs for this, which is amazing because it is much higher-risk and more challenging.”

There are more than 20 U-M graduates who have been employed by SpaceX, Zurbuchen estimated, and many are involved with the Dragon mission. While SpaceX declined to allow their engineers to speak to the media during the mission, a search for their employees confirmed that estimate.

Read full story at the College of Engineering site

SpaceX’s successful Dragon mission marks the first time a privately-run company has docked with the International Space Station and delivered cargo and supplies to its crew. The mission is the first of twelve scheduled flights contracted by NASA, at the price tag of $1.6 billion dollars.

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