Rocket producer SpaceX appears to be preparing to open a high-tech factory here in Austin, a pair of new job postings suggest.
SpaceX already has two locations in the Lone Star State: a launch facility near the Mexican border and a rocket testing facility in McGregor. This new facility would be involved in developing equipment for Starlink, a venture that aims to provide speedy broadband access to the world via a constellation of small, low-orbit satellites. The company is breaking ground on this “state of the art manufacturing facility” to “keep up with global demand,” according to the job posting.
One of the newly listed positions is for an automation and controls engineer who will help manufacture and ship devices like Starlink dishes, Wi-Fi routers and mounting hardware. The other is for an assembly and packaging equipment engineer who will help with package design, development and new product introduction, including leading wafer and chip-scale packaging processes.
It is not clear right now where in Austin this new facility will be, how many people will eventually work there or how large it will become.
That being said, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk added fuel to the fire on Tuesday when he tweeted one cryptic sentence: “Creating the city of Starbase, Texas.” This reportedly just turned out to be a response to a request to reincorporate SpaceX’s launch facility in Boca Chica under that name, but you never know. Just before the “Starbase” post, he also tweeted about Dogecoin and a new drug coming out called Regretamine (“pop one & all regrets are gone”), so Musk’s plans are really anyone’s guess.
Past behavior does indicate that Musk wants to become a major presence in Austin though, and the rumored facility would be the latest addition to a number of the billionaire founder’s projects that have taken root in Texas.
In July, he confirmed that his electric car company Tesla was building its next gigafactory there, and his tech-enabled telepathic startup Neuralink announced in September it was looking for Austin-based engineers. Then, in December, Musk said he had officially moved himself and his private foundation down to Texas. While he didn’t indicate where exactly in the state he had moved to, coverage at the time reported that he told friends he was planning to move to Austin.
And Musk certainly isn’t the only one with his sights set on Austin. In fact, there’s been a steady wave of California companies moving to Austin lately, including Oracle and TikTok.