Gwynne Shotwell

Benjamin Wachenje

Title: President and chief operating officer, SpaceX

Born: November 23, 1963, Libertyville, Illinois

Education: BS and MS, mechanical engineering and applied mathematics, Northwestern University

Early Marker: While researching how materials change with temperature for Aerospace Corp. in 1990s, wrote technical papers on various aspects of launch, reentry and reusable space vehicles.

Big Idea: Fulfilling a desire to build spaceships as No. 2 to Elon Musk at the company that makes commercial rockets that can launch satellites, as well as cargo-carrying space capsules that resupply the International Space Station for NASA.

Wave of the Future: Space

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