Polish programmer on team of world's most powerful rocket

Polish programmer Tomasz Czajka has worked on the control systems for SpaceX, which on Tuesday launched the world's most powerful rocket, called Falcon Heavy, the Polish Information Processing Society (PTI) said on its website on Friday.

Falcon Heavy took off at around 9:45 pm CET on Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX managed to guide two of the Falcon Heavy's first-stage rocket boosters to land upright back on Earth. The third booster, after detaching itself from the main segment, crashed in the water damaging the sea-faring platform on which it was supposed to land.

Czajka, a graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Mechanics at the University of Warsaw, was among the software engineers who worked on SpaceX control systems.

During his studies at the University of Warsaw, and then at America's Purdue University, Czajka won many prestigious IT competitions. In 2003, 2004 and 2008, Czajka won the TopCoder Open competition in Las Vegas, in 2003 the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in Beverly Hills, and in 2004 his team came first in the TopCoder Collegiate Challenge.

In 2007, Czajka started working as a software engineer at Google's headquarters, from where he moved to SpaceX in 2014.

Tuesday's launch was the Falcon Heavy's test flight. The rocket is to be used in the future to carry out a private manned mission to Mars. SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced that it would be organised by 2024, before a rival project by NASA.