SpaceX is pushing hard to get more Starlink satellites in orbit to expand its satellite Internet connectivity around the country. While the main part of that system is the satellites SpaceX puts into orbit, another critical component is the hardware that end-users place in their homes to receive access from the satellites. SpaceX has now announced that it’s building a new factory in Austin, Texas, that will design systems to help it build satellite dishes, Wi-Fi routers, and other hardware for the Starlink network.
Word of the new factory came from a job posting seeking an automation and controls engineer. The job listing said that the employee would play “a key role” as SpaceX strives to build millions of consumer-facing devices shipped directly to customers. The listing says those devices would include Starlink dishes, Wi-Fi routers, mounting hardware, and more. It’s important to note that the factory would not build the dishes and routers on site but would be designing systems meant to improve the manufacturing process.
Specifically named in the job listing would be designing and developing control systems and software for production line machinery to tackle “the toughest” mechanical, software, and electrical challenges that come with high-volume manufacturing. The employee would also be required to focus on flexibility, reliability, maintainability, and ease-of-use.
The Starlink service has been a dream for many subscribers. While the service is still in beta, it has more than 10,000 customers and provides speeds much faster than other satellite-based services can provide. SpaceX has a long history of humorous names and calls the user terminal “Dishy McFlatface.” Currently, the Starlink service costs $99 per month with a one-time $499 fee for the user terminal, mounting tripod, and router.