UTIAS student’s SpaceX internship involved working on Falcon Heavy’s engines

Askar Kazbekov, a UTIAS student who is working on a master’s degree with Professor Adam Steinberg spent nearly a year-and-half working for Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX during two separate internships – one of which was organized through the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering’s professional experience year program. His most recent stint at the space company helmed by Musk came two years ago, when he worked in the propulsion analysis group. “I was actually surprised they launched the car,” says Kazbekov.  “The running joke [at SpaceX] was that the Falcon Heavy could lift a school bus in the faring – so we should put a school bus into space.”

He says the team he was part of focused mainly on engine valves used on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. So he watched nervously earlier this month when the Falcon Heavy – composed of three Falcon 9 engine cores – blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, making it the most powerful rocket to launch in nearly half a century.  Full story…