July 10, 2008
Diane Murphy Joins SpaceX As Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), a privately held launch services provider, announced that Diane Murphy has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
Ms. Murphy assumes the newly created position with responsibility for all aspects of marketing and communications, including strategic planning, media relations, advertising, video and web content, exhibits and trade shows, community affairs, and event management, as well as serving as company spokesperson.
"In addition to the extraordinary demand for our products and services, we are experiencing tremendous demand for updates on the upcoming launch of our Falcon 1, delivery of the first Falcon 9 to Cape Canaveral and development of our Dragon spacecraft," said Gwynne Shotwell, VP, Business Development. "Diane will be instrumental in keeping everyone informed of our progress."
Murphy comes to SpaceX from Northrop Grumman Corporation where she led communications for their Space Technology Sector. Previously, she served as Vice President of Communications for EADS North America, the US holding company for the world's second largest aerospace and defense company, and Executive Vice President of the X PRIZE Foundation, organizing the first X PRIZE CUP and working with the state of New Mexico to support the creation of the New Mexico Spaceport.
For fifteen years Murphy served as Chairman and CEO of Federal City Communications providing communications strategies to aerospace, defense, and telecommunications clients. She began her career on Capitol Hill as a press assistant to former House Republican Leader, John J. Rhodes (R-AZ), before working for a Washington consulting firm where she managed campaigns related to defense, energy systems, and directed political advertising campaigns for more than 30 candidates including Senators Bill Cohen (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Governor John Sununu (R-NH).
Murphy is a member of the National Press Club, serves on the Board of Trustees of the X PRIZE Foundation, California Space Authority, and Dashew International Center for Students and Scholars at UCLA. She was educated at Friends Academy, Northwestern University and studied in the former Soviet Union before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, powered by internally developed Merlin engines, SpaceX offers light, medium and heavy lift capabilities to deliver spacecraft into any altitude and inclination, from low-Earth orbit to geosynchronous to planetary missions. SpaceX currently has 14 missions on its manifest including the two previous Falcon 1 demonstration flights, plus indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts with NASA and the US Air Force.
As a winner of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition (COTS), SpaceX is in a position to help fill the gap when the Space Shuttle retires in 2010. Under the existing contract, SpaceX will conduct three flights of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft for NASA, culminating in Dragon berthing with the International Space Station (ISS) and returning to Earth. NASA also has a contract option on Falcon 9 / Dragon to provide crew services to the ISS after Shuttle retirement. The first Falcon 9 will arrive at the SpaceX launch site at Cape Canaveral by the end of 2008.
Founded in 2002, the SpaceX team now numbers more than 500, located mostly in Hawthorne, California, with four additional locations: SpaceX's Texas Test Facility in McGregor near Waco; offices in Washington DC; and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific.