SpaceX plans to break ground in Austin, Texas, on a “state-of-the-art manufacturing facility” to support a satellite operation that started in Redmond, Washington.
Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, established the Starlink satellite network in Redmond five years ago. SpaceX’s broadband internet constellation, which is in the middle of an expanding beta test, is now said to be delivering six satellites a day. Over 1,000 satellites have already been launched into low Earth orbit, and SpaceX is continuing to launch them in batches of up to 60 at a time.
Starlink is quite far along several mega-constellation projects aimed at providing global internet access via low Earth orbit satellites. The competitors include OneWeb, Telesat and the Amazon Project Kuiper.
Unlike the Redmond SpaceX facility, the Austin factory would build millions of consumer-centric devices that they would ship directly to the customers that include Starlink dishes, Wi-Fi routers, hardware mounting devices, etc. as SpaceX had mentioned in the job posing website. That part of the operation was managed from SpaceX’s headquarters in the Los Angeles area.
The location of the automation and control engineer is classified as a remote location and would involve working up to 25% of the time at SpaceX’s California HQ until the Austin facility is completely established.
California has served as the home base for SpaceX since Elon Musk founded the company in 2020 and Musk’s other major corporate venture, Tesla, is also based in the Golden State. Musk has been souring California over the last year, however, in part due to restrictions placed on it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last December, he announced that he was moving to the State of the Lone Star.
Texas is already the main location for SpaceX’s other major project, the Starship super-rocket and its Super Heavy Booster. Starship prototypes are being tested at the Boca Chica launch facility on the South Texas coast of SpaceX. At the end of the day, SpaceX aims to use the Starship system for purposes ranging from satellite deployment and point-to-point terrestrial travel to trips to the Moon and Mars.
Today, Musk indicated that he had big plans for the area, reporting in a tweet that he will be creating the city of Starbase, Texas. In a Twitter exchange, he said that his plans for the incorporation of a city would extend to “an area much larger than Boca Chica.”
“From thence to Mars, and hence the stars,” he wrote.