Cal Poly alumnus Cmdr. Victor Glover starts his journey to space tomorrow.

On Nov. 15, Glover will pilot a SpaceX mission to NASA’s International Space Station. People can watch the live launch here on Nov. 15 at 4:27 p.m. 

“Space exploration unifies and inspires —  it is about humanity and creating opportunities for all people everywhere,”  Glover said in a video. 

Glover has been selected as one of four members to be on SpaceX’s team for the mission.

“Victor has embodied Learn by Doing in his career as a Navy pilot and now, an astronaut,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong wrote in an email. “I know that our entire Cal Poly community will join me in cheering him on as we watch him make history piloting the SpaceX Crew Dragon to the International Space Station.”

The historic launch of Crew-1 includes Cmrd. Michael Hopkins, Mission Specialist Shannon Walker, Mission Specialist Soichi Noguchi and Glover. The vessel named Resilience will be docked at the space station for six months.

SpaceX is a company founded by Elon Musk in 2002 with the goal to colonize other planets, according to the company’s Linkedin page. This will be the second launch for the Crew Dragon spacecraft, but the first flight with astronauts on board, according to NASA. 

The crew’s goal is to improve spacecraft systems that will allow roundtrip transportation from the International Space Station back to the United States, according to NASA.

Glover was selected to be a member of NASA’s astronaut class in 2013, and completed his training in 2015. Glover graduated from Cal Poly in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in general engineering and was a member of Cal Poly’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), as well as a member of Cal Poly’s wrestling team. 

Open to the public, a Cal Poly virtual event will be held on Nov. 14 at 3:30 p.m. accessible here. Professionals and faculty alike will be discussing the milestones of SpaceX. 

Panelists include Associate Dean for Diversity and Student Success for the College of Engineering Eric Mehiel, aerospace engineering Professor Kira Abercromby, President of the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers Amman Asfaw and aerospace engineering senior Brigitte Petersen.

Milestones to be discussed include how Glover is the first Black SpaceX astronaut, Shannon Walker is the first female SpaceX astronaut and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Soichi Noguchi will be the first Japanese SpaceX astronaut. Crew-1 is SpaceX’s second mission boarding astronauts as well.

Aerospace major and engineering junior of Cal Poly’s Design, Build, Fly club Laird Mendelson has been keeping close watch on the status of the mission.

Mendelson said SpaceX has a news strategy, where they use private companies to send NASA astronauts into space, instead of sending Russian and American astronauts to space in Russian rockets. 

“All the progress that SpaceX is making right now is really exciting,”  Mendelson said. “I’m glad that Cal Poly has some representation up there, and I look forward to seeing the launch.”

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