SpaceX to open satellite-building operation in Washington state


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The competition heats up: Within three years SpaceX hopes to establish a new satellite operation in Seattle, Washington, employing 1,000 people and focused on the design of smaller, cheaper satellites.

The key quote from the article perhaps is this: “Musk said the office would focus on developing satellites but could also be a base for rocket-design talent uninterested in moving to SpaceX’s base in the Los Angeles area.” To put it another way, California’s socialist and highly restrictive state government has forced Musk to consider an alternative location for the expansion of his company.

His effort should also strike fear into the established satellite makers, who have done relatively little innovative design changes in the past four decades. As SpaceX has done with the launch industry, I expect SpaceX will do with the satellite industry: force them to lower costs while developing new technologies.

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One comment

  • PeterF

    -reference my comments about the 648 satellite constellation for OneWeb.
    We are about to enter an even more exciting phase of satellite operations. Its going to start getting crowded up there. Soon satellite recovery and repair businesses will be economically feasible. They will be called “VACUUM CLEANERS” and “ORBITAL MECHANICS” The question will be; Do they return the defunct satellites and breakup debris to earth or do they collect the components as raw materials for recycling in an orbital (re)manufacturing facility? Will maritime salvage law apply? I expect most countries will be amenable to such businesses removing their debris because currently they are infinitely responsible for any damage caused by anything they place in orbit. The ridiculous movie “Gravity” would have been an international litigation nightmare.

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