SpaceX is expanding its presence in Redmond, where its engineers are developing the Starlink satellite constellation to deliver broadband internet.
A new report from commercial realty firm Kidder Matthews notes that SpaceX is leasing two new buildings under construction at the Redmond Ridge Business Park, where the company already occupies several buildings.
The two buildings together provide just over 124,900 square feet of industrial lab and manufacturing space, with more than 300 parking spaces. The expansion was first reported by GeekWire.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk set up the Redmond operation to tap into the local software engineering talent.
In a recruiting visit to Seattle in 2015, he told potential hires that his planned satellite venture would bankroll his larger ambition of sending humans deep into space and could expand to employ “several hundred people, maybe a thousand” in the state.
Since then, SpaceX has successfully launched multiple satellite deployments on its Falcon 9 rockets. Gwynne Shotwell, company president and chief operating officer, said Tuesday at the Satellite 2021 industry conference there are currently about 1,320 Starlink satellites in orbit.
SpaceX launched 60 more of the low Earth orbit satellites Wednesday from Cape Canaveral in Florida. (A previous launch sent glowing streams of rocket junk streaking spectacularly across the Pacific Northwest sky on the evening of March 25).
The Federal Communications Commission has authorized SpaceX to deploy 12,000 Starlink satellites.
When the Starlink constellation is complete, it’s intended to provide global broadband service to anyone with a small satellite dish. SpaceX currently offers only a limited beta version of the service, charging $499 for the dish and then $99 per month.
SpaceX has not disclosed how many Redmond employees it has now. Its website lists 39 open engineering positions in Redmond.