Before SpaceX gave Agnieszka Pilat the keys to her own art studio at its headquarters, she had to sign away her life in non-disclosure agreements, the artist half-jokes.
Pilat, 49, is a self-described “techno-optimist,” a fan of the space exploration company’s mission to one day send humans to Mars on a fleet of Starships to establish a self-sustaining city. That commitment, a personal dream of the company’s founder, Elon Musk, might just be what’s necessary to save humanity, she told Mashable.
Though she’s grateful for the unprecedented access she’s been granted — an intimate view of engineers as they build rockets and spacecraft — she doesn’t feel beholden to the billionaire behind it all, whose celebrity status amuses her. She likens Musk to JFK for the way he’s invigorated a new space era. But Pilat is adamant that she never asked SpaceX’s CEO, or any tech firm leader who has allowed her behind the scenes, for money.