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SpaceX’s Florida Director of Mission Assurance Leaves Company

Scott Henderson (right) during one of the many tours he assisted AmericaSpace in conducting. Henderson has left SpaceX for a position with Raytheon. Photo Credit: Alan Walters /

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX) Scott Henderson, who joined the NewSpace firm in 2009 and served as the company’s director of mission assurance, has left SpaceX for a position with Raytheon.

Photo Credit: SpaceX

Henderson, a former U.S. Air Force officer, was a fixture out at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40). While the media frequently saw and spoke with him out at SpaceX’s launch pad, few knew much about his background.SpaceX issued a press release when Henderson was hired stating that Henderson holds a degree in astronautics from the United States Air Force Academy. He also earned a masters degree in engineering management from Florida Tech. Henderson put his education to good use and worked a number of positions within the space industry.

“Scott was a part of a number of the tours out at the pad. It is my understanding that he got an offer he couldn’t refuse,” said SpaceX’s spokesperson Katherine Nelson. “While we certainly will miss his contributions to SpaceX, we absolutely wish him all the best.”

According to an article appearing in Florida Today, Henderson’s new position will be the vice-president of Raytheon’s Integrated Information Systems Division which is located in Dallas, Texas.

SpaceX has flown four of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets from SLC-40. Three of these launches saw the Hawthorne, Calif., –based company’s Dragon spacecraft make history for a variety of reasons. The first Dragon launched, entered into the history books as the first commercial spacecraft to orbit the Earth and splash down safely. The second was the first private spacecraft to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS), and be berthed to the station. The last Dragon, launched Oct. 7, was the first planned private resupply flight to the ISS. It completed its mission Oct. 28.

During Henderson’s time with the company SpaceX had four successful launches of its Falcon 9 rocket. Photo Credit: Jason Rhian


Written by Jason Rhian

Jason Rhian gained Bachelor’s Degrees in journalism and public relations from the University of South Florida and spent countless hours volunteering with NASA and other space groups to gain experience. He has interned with NASA twice. Once at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) press site in 2007 and with NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) in 2009.

Jason has worked with a number of space-related groups and events - including Google Lunar X-PRIZE team Omega Envoy, the 2009 International Space Development Conference and NASA's KSC press site. Jason has covered over 30 launches. His work has been published in Aviation Week & Space Technology, The Spaceport News and online with,,,, Universe Today and other websites.

Whereas some journalists are comfortable repurposing a press release and using imagery provided to them by the public relations arm of that organization – Jason has made a habit of getting behind the pre-approved announcements to cover the events first hand. He covered President Obama’s remarks live from Kennedy Space Center in April 2010. Jason also flew out to Utah to cover the test fire of Alliant Techsystems second test of the company’s Development Motor-2 (DM-2). More recently, he sat in the backseat of history, flying on NASA’s Shuttle Training Aircraft with STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson as he trained for the last mission of the space shuttle era during the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT).

One Comment

  1. Space X has had at least one significant anomaly on three of the four Falcon 9 flights. Ken Bowersox, a retired NASA astronaut was SpaceX vice president for astronaut safety and mission assurance. Bowersox left the company in late 2011.

    Now with an investigation of the most recent anomaly underway Scott Henderson the company’s director of mission assurance has left as well.

    An interesting coincidence?

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