“Elon said, ‘We’ll buy them out,’” Gardner said. “So, I e-mailed him my resume at two thirty A.M., and he replied back in thirty minutes addressing everything I put in there point by point. He said, ‘When you interview make sure you can talk concretely about what you do rather than use buzzwords.’ It floored me that he would take the time to do this.” After being hired, Gardner was tasked with improving the system for testing the valves on the Merlin engine. There were dozens of valves, and it took three to five hours to manually test each one. Six months later, Gardner had built an automated system for testing the valves in minutes. The testing machine tracked the valves individually, so that an engineer in Texas could request what the metrics had been on a specific part. “I had been handed this redheaded stepchild that no one else wanted to deal with and established my engineering credibility,” Gardner said.