University of Louisville Magazine

WINTER-SPRING 2018

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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UOFLMAGAZINE.COM 46 46 UOFLMAGAZINE.COM hen the world's most powerful rocket blasted into the atmosphere, a UofL alumnus was watching from mission control. Austin Marshall, 12S, 13GS, is part of the SpaceX team that launched Falcon Heavy — and it's owner Elon Musk's Tesla — into space in February. "It was awesome," Marshall said. "We all kind of had this thought in the back of our head that it might not work — even Elon said there was a 50 percent chance it could go wrong. But the more times things worked, the more excited everyone was." Marshall, who graduated from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering with an industrial engineering degree, is the mate- rial flow planner for SpaceX. His job is essentially logistics, making sure all the parts and pieces needed to build the rockets are right where they should be, when they should be there. "Right now building a rocket takes a long time," Marshall said. "SpaceX wants to make it a really quick process, like an assembly line." Marshall, who worked in logistics for Toyota before join- ing SpaceX, was the perfect fit to help move SpaceX toward a more automotive-type manufacturing system. Since start- ing with the company, his role has expanded to include handling all the packaging for all the rocket parts, as well as ensuring those parts move around the company and across the country for the launches. Marshall, who grew up in Possum Trot, Kentucky, before attending UofL, applied to SpaceX twice before joining the team. HEAVY UOFL ALUM HANDLES LOGISTICS FOR HISTORIC SPACEX LAUNCH BY E R I CA WA L S H L I F T I N G "OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL FOR THE YEAR IS TO PUT PEOPLE IN SPACE."

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