Q&A: A Chat with SpaceX Founder Elon Musk The rocket was small, its cargo just dead weight. Yet Sunday night, the successful launch of a privately developed rocket known as Falcon could be a game-changer for the beleaguered U.S. space program.
Elon Musk, Space Exploration Technology (SpaceX) founder and Internet mogul, spoke with Discovery News' Irene Klotz last week about his ambitions, motivations and politics.
Irene Klotz: There's a lot of concern about space shuttle workers who are going to have to move off the government paycheck when the shuttles are retired. Any suggestions for them?
Elon Musk: SpaceX is going to add a bunch of jobs at the Cape. We're growing rapidly. I think within two, three years we're going to have at least a couple of hundred of people there and then in five years ... I think our employee count could approach 1,000 people. SpaceX itself is already 550 people.
IK: What's been the most challenging part of growing this business?
EM: Finding great people. But I find that to be universally true -- at least all the businesses that I'm involved in -- because I have a very high bar for hiring people. In the beginning of the company, in particular, it was hard to convince people to leave their current employers, particularly if they're top performers. They're looked after very well, usually, by their parent company. As time goes on, it gets easier to attract people because the future of the company is more secure.