SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to build an engineering office in Seattle to build the satellites needed to eventually build a human colony on Mars, Bloomberg reports.
“We’re going to try and do for satellites what we’ve done for rockets,” Musk says.
The new engineering office in Seattle will employ “several hundred people, maybe a thousand people,” according to Musk.
Musk believes a commercial satellite business will be able to provide the company with two important needs: money, and communications.
The Pentagon is looking to spend $US70 billion on satellite launches through the next 15 years, according to The Seattle Times, and SpaceX, which does some work with the US government besides NASA missions, probably wants some of that capital. (SpaceX won a contract from NASA in 2008 — its combined contract with Orbital, for station resupply missions for NASA, is worth $US3.5 billion.)
SpaceX is just coming off an attempt to launch and land its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean — predicted to be a major game-changing event for our aerospace efforts — but the rocket landed a bit too hard. Meanwhile, the company’s Dragon capsule finally reached the International Space Station after its two-day journey, becoming the first cargo ship to reach the ISS.