post Transcript of Tom Mueller's speech interview on May 2, 2017

Background info

On May 2, 2017, Tom Mueller, propulsion CTO at SpaceX, conducted a speech/interview with some members of the New York University Astronomy Society. This was streamed live on Twitch; I’ve transcribed it with the help of u/dansemacabred2, u/jclishman, and u/Zucal. Many thanks!

Check out the interview on, and the post in the SpaceX subreddit.

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post I'm now on Patreon.

For some background, I’m currently creating all of my illustrations from a 2012 laptop (Lenovo T430, if you’re curious,) and it’s… not the ideal 3D graphics computer, to say the least. I’d love to upgrade, but it’s only necessary for 3D work; and I was (understandably) wary to spend money on a new computer without any way to recover the costs.

So I’ve made a Patreon page. Apparently, people actually like my work enough to send me some money for it; until now, the only way was via RedBubble (where I get 30% of the total item cost), or direct donations. Hopefully, there will be more incentive for people to pledge to me on Patreon, thanks to the rewards.

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art Heart of Gold performs its Trans-Mars Injection burn

This piece shows the SpaceX Interplanetary Transportation System Mars lander performing the trans-Mars injection burn that marks the beginning of its coast to Mars.

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art SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster Landing on OCISLY

My rendition of a Falcon 9 booster landing on Of Course I Still Love You, SpaceX’s East coast droneship. This is a triple-engine landing burn; while SpaceX hasn’t performed a triple-engine landing burn since JCSAT-16, very heavy GTO payloads at the edge of Falcon 9’s capability may require triple-engine landing burns in the future.

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art SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster Glide

My rendition of a Falcon 9 booster returning to Earth after a launch. The four grid fins are guiding it towards its landing pad as it hurtles downwards at supersonic velocities.

In this image, the Falcon 9 is at about 40km in altitude (with entry burn shutdown having occured seconds earlier) and is less than thirty seconds from the start of the landing burn.

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