Working at SpaceX: what role was played by Ukrainians in the launch of a manned rocket Crew Dragon

The last seven years for software launch and landing of SpaceX meets Ukrainian Alexei Pahunov. He directs the division of the ten programmers who write codes for the missiles, which the company Elon musk launches into space. This writes TV7plus.

Работает в SpaceX: какую роль сыграл украинец в запуске пилотируемой ракеты Crew Dragon

Photo: Shutterstock

Alex hails from Zhitomir. At the time he graduated from Khmelnitsky national University, specialty “engineer of computer systems and networks”. But at home, a talented programmer sat up, and decided to try his hand abroad. For a while he tried to catch hold of a promising job in Romania and Denmark. But there’s a guy felt capable of more, and therefore decided to go overseas in USA — where brains flocking from all over the world. When I moved to the US decided to start a blog to describe everything interesting that was happening to him.

First, the guy found a job in Microsoft. Then change one legendary to another company — Google. And already that he was approached by a recruiter with SpaceX. Alex says: when applying for a job he didn’t even have a personal interview with the boss. Musk trusts his scouts, because he always employs only professionals.

About the Ukrainian geniuses of programming for the first time told the countrymen Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, who in January 2020 was trained at Stanford for the “training programme of the new Ukrainian leaders”. Then, with the window from the study, he decided to go on a tour of Hawthorne (California). There his guide was Alex — the only employee Mask, who is fluent in Russian. Thus, the frontman of “Okean Elzy” told his story first hand.

Senior Flight Software Engineer (senior software engineer), Alex Pahunov works at Mask 2013. Under his leadership, employs ten programmers who make everything flies into space from SpaceX, “skillfully” just to get into orbit, to dock accurately and precisely to land at the designated coordinates.

Alex says that the Mask does not prevent them to work and not interfere in their work. They are required result, and how they will achieve — it’s their internal kitchen.

They are not rushing to work at nine in the morning and not counting the minutes remaining until 18:00. They have no work rules as such. Everyone works as necessary and yet not falling down. But they forget about fatigue and remember about it is that when another object successfully enters into orbit or returned from it. However, Pahunov says she’s used to this rhythm of work and even finds time for a personal life.

With Musk, admits Alex, during these seven years he had spoken only twice. First time was at a work party the second time — in case of force majeure circumstances where it was necessary to urgently make an important decision. The first time he liked, smiling, adds Ukrainian.

May 30, Alexey Pahunov made in his blog the next entry. He reported that their rocket with astronauts went into orbit and docked with the ISS.

“Next stop is the ship?” optimistic programmer noted in his blog with the strange name “Trampoline”.

After SpaceX in collaboration with NASA, launched manned spacecraft, the Falcon 9 with the Dragon capsule Crew to Akhunovo attracted the attention of many people, as he himself wrote in a blog, writes “UKRINFORM”.

“The successful launch of the manned Dragon Crew to the International space station deservedly brought increased attention from both the media and ordinary mortals. After all, such events don’t happen often … Which is much worse, the news that SpaceX is working Ukrainian has caused great excitement in Facebook and a wave of rumors … “, — he wrote.

According to Pahomova, he writes “all software that is responsible for the flight Crew Dragon”, because this deals with several hundred people for many years.

Earlier Pahunov wrote “soft” (software) for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and now, for Starship.

“Of course, since the software for all four harvested from the same code base, the part of my code is used when flying Dragon” — explains Pahunov.

The position of Ukrainian in the company Elon musk called “Sr. Software Engineer” or “developer usual, but experienced.” In 2015, Pahunov was responsible for the successful landing of the Falcon 9.

“I really was responsible for the first successful landing of the first degree, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch … SpaceX widely used concept of Responsible Engineer (“senior engineer”, RE). Responsible engineer coordinates the interaction of various groups in a particular area. The task of a responsible engineer is not to do all the work yourself, and that all work (in one particular region) was made by those who should. Without such a responsible engineer is easy to forget some important but subtle detail. For example, it is easy to connect only one end of the cable or to forget to perform some important test,” wrote Ukrainian.

According to him, each run is assigned as the responsible engineer from each group, which ensures startup.

“I was the engineer responsible for launching F9-21 (first successful landing), FH-1 (first launch of Falcon Heavy), and several other launches from the Flight Software group. In addition, I was responsible for the flight software loaded onto a rocket includes all planned changes and passed all the necessary tests. Most of the people you see in the mission control center, responsible engineers of the various groups,” — explains Pahunov.

Also Ahunov said that can’t answer a lot of questions that he receives regarding the operation of the company.

“I was very limited in what I can tell you about the work in the company. In addition to the usual restrictions on the distribution of classified information, the employees of SpaceX fall under ITAR restrictions (the law on the control of arms exports). In fact, I can only speak about what has (been) published on the Internet and nothing more,” writes Pahunov.

As previously wrote ForumDaily:

  • May 27 at approximately 16:30 in new York was scheduled manned flight of SpaceX to the ISS from the United States — an event that the American space industry waited for almost 10 years. But due to adverse weather conditions the start had to cancel a few minutes before the start.
  • Twitter users did not miss the opportunity to make fun of Elon Musk. Some were particularly amused by the fact that the astronauts were clad in the most ordinary-looking boots. There were a lot of jokes in the spirit of “I’m in such mushrooms go”.
  • May 30, the historic flight took place. View the video recording as it happened here.



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