In 2002, Hans became the fourth technical employee for the newly founded SpaceX. Today, Hans looks back at more than 25 years of experience building up SpaceX’s avionics, software, and GNC departments and developing the launch readiness process used during each launch campaign. He designed the company’s risk mitigation process and initiated the risk database, establishing a similar process for system-level changes to the vehicle and ground systems. He was the Chief Avionics architect of the Falcon 1 and early Falcon 9 efforts and Launch Chief Engineer for the last three Falcon 1 missions and most of the Falcon 9 flights. SpaceX promoted him to Vice President of Flight Reliability in 2011 making him responsible for the safe completion of SpaceX missions until 2021.
Previous to his career at SpaceX, Hans headed the Space Technology Division of Germany’s Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen. Later, he worked for Microcosm as Chief Scientist and flight systems manager for their suborbital vehicles. Hans holds a PhD in aerospace engineering and production from the University of Bremen and an MS in Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin.