Shotwell stated that Musk was “as lucid and capable as he has ever been,” at a satellite conference in Paris, in a report from Bloomberg news.
“[He] is a brilliant man. I wish people would not focus on the triviality.” She added further.
Musk has been under public scrutiny recently after a tumultuous month of announcements and appearances—including tweeting about taking Tesla private on August 7 – and most notoriously, smoking marijuana during a September 6 podcast. The situation is grave enough that the Air Force has began looking into it. It told CNBC in a statement on September 7 that it “will need time to determine the facts and the appropriate process to handle the situation.”
It is unclear yet whether a formal investigation will actually be launched by the Air Force.
Meanwhile, SpaceX is on pace this year to shatter its record 18 successful launches completed in 2017. The company has already completed 16 launches – including the debut of Falcon Heavy, which is the most powerful rocket in the world. SpaceX also debuted an enhanced version of its Falcon 9 rocket called Block 5 on May 11, launching and landing the new vehicle in its first attempt.
Shotwell, who leads the day-to-day operations of Space X, has helped make it the dominant company in the global market of orbital rocket launches—which the US had ceded to Russia and Europe until last year. Launching almost every other week—while developing a gigantic reusable Mars rocket and a constellation of 4,425 broadband satellites.
Space X has become one of the most valuable private companies in the world—worth about $28bn.