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Site selection expert discusses the options for potential SpaceX manufacturing facility in Austin

Recent job postings on SpaceX's website hint at a potential future manufacturing site for the company in Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: As of March 9, the job listings mentioned in this story no longer appear on SpaceX's website.

Elon Musk is no stranger to Central Texas. A Tesla Gigafactory is already well under construction in southeast Travis County, and Musk's other venture, The Boring Company, which specializes in building transportation tunnels, filed a project for a space in Pflugerville. 

But recent job postings on SpaceX's website hint at a potential future manufacturing site for the company in Austin. 

The two job postings are specifically for SpaceX's satellite internet division, Starlink. The positions are Automation and Controls Engineer (Starlink) and Assembly and Packaging Equipment Engineer (Starlink). Both of which read the location as "Remote-Austin, TX."

RELATED: SpaceX job listing hints at 'state of the art' manufacturing facility in Austin

On the posting for Automation and Controls Engineer, it reads in part, "To keep up with global demand, SpaceX is breaking ground on a new, state of the art manufacturing facility in Austin, TX."

But it doesn't state where in Austin. 

KVUE searched the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, and what comes back when searching "Space Exploration Technologies Inc" in the license data search page is the current SpaceX Rocket Development Facility in McGregor. 

KVUE also reached out to SpaceX for comment, but has not heard back. 

John Boyd, a site selection expert and principal at The Boyd Company, whose firm has worked with companies like Dell for its Round Rock campus, says generally speaking he believes the current Gigafactory site that is under construction would prove to be a good option. 

"That's enough land to support both the Cybertruck Gigafactory as well as the Starlink production facility, and it would also enable Musk to have the type of installation and privacy to protect intellectual property and other proprietary manufacturing techniques utilized at both the Tesla Gigafactory and Starlink," he said. 

Credit: John Gusky
The Tesla Gigafactory in Southeast Travis County under construction in February 2021.

He adds that office space being shared at the Gigafactory, if it is an actual option, would be a viable one. 

"One other thing that would do, it would create efficiencies for both companies that would allow Tesla and Starlink [to] potentially share engineering functions as well as potentially share office space, which, of course, will be good for the bottom line for both companies," said Boyd.

Overall he believes more progress on this could happen in a matter of months, but it's important to note that real estate is usually one of the final steps. 

"Typically, the real estate equation is really the last piece of the puzzle for a major site selection project like this one," he said. "Really, these projects are really driven by the skill sets and the overall positive business climate in the region, which, of course, Musk has endorsed multiple times over the past couple of years with both the Gigafactory and, of course, moving to Austin and moving his foundation to Austin. All of that is, of course, a great endorsement and a signal of how he feels about the business climate that Austin enjoys."

Recently, Musk said Austin would be the "biggest boomtown" that America has seen in 50 years. You can read that story here.


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