It's a positive signal when a company expands, and this time it's SpaceX in a very large, 40,625-square-foot facility in Redmond, Washington, in the Redmond Ridge Corporate Center, owned by M&T Partners. The property will undergo a $2.1 million interior remodeling for its research and development lab for its satellite operation.
The California-based company’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, established the Redmond operation in 2015 to develop satellites that would provide global Internet access. SpaceX is already using a 30,000-square-foot office building that’s located in Redmond. Previously announced schedules have called for the first wave of satellites to be deployed in the 2018-2020 time frame.
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the 4,425-satellite constellation is one of the keys to SpaceX’s long-term business plan—and Musk stated satellite revenues would fund his vision of sending thousands of settlers to Mars.
When Musk unveiled the plan in Seattle, two years ago, he said the satellite engineering operation could eventually employ “maybe 1,000 people.” Currently it is estimated that the company’s total employment is 5,000. The company’s job listings suggest that satellite components will be built and integrated for testing at the Redmond lab. The Puget Sound Business Journal reported rumors of a manufacturing plant in Kent, Washington, but SpaceX spokesman John Taylor countered saying the company has made no decisions about satellite production facilities.
Last November, SpaceX revealed details for the satellite constellation with the Federal Communications Commission.