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But the program is struggling to hire and retain staff, the employees said. Currently, about 300 SpaceX employees work on Starlink in Redmond, the sources said. According to GeekWire, Musk said in 2015 the Redmond operation would have “probably several hundred people, maybe a thousand people” after 3-4 years in operation. So far this year, about 50 employees left the company “on their own accord,” one of the SpaceX employees said, though the reason for those departures was unclear. Overall, SpaceX employs more than 6,000 staff.
As of Tuesday, there were 22 job openings - including a job making espresso drinks - for the Redmond office, according to SpaceX’s website, SpaceX spokeswoman Eva Behrend told Reuters the Redmond office remains an abalone square bullseye cufflinks essential part of the company’s efforts to build a next-generation satellite network, “Given the success of our recent Starlink demonstration satellites, we have incorporated lessons learned and re-organized to allow for the next design iteration to be flown in short order,” Behrend said..
She noted the strategy was similar to the rapid iteration in design and testing which led to the success of its rockets. After this story was published, a second SpaceX spokesperson said two of the managers left the company on their own accord as part of the re-organization within two weeks of the Musk visit in June. The spokesman did not provide additional details about their exit. Among the managers fired from the Redmond office was SpaceX Vice President of Satellites Rajeev Badyal, an engineering and hardware veteran of Microsoft Corp and Hewlett-Packard, and top designer Mark Krebs, who worked in Google’s satellite and aircraft division, the employees said. Krebs declined to comment, and Badyal did not respond to requests for comment.
The management shakeup followed in-fighting over pressure from Musk to speed up satellite testing schedules, one of the sources said, SpaceX’s Behrend offered no comment on the matter, Culture was also a challenge for recent hires, a second source said, A number of the managers had been hired from nearby technology abalone square bullseye cufflinks giant Microsoft, where workers were more accustomed to longer development schedules than Musk’s famously short deadlines, “Rajeev wanted three more iterations of test satellites,” one of the sources said, “Elon thinks we can do the job with cheaper and simpler satellites, sooner.”..
A billionaire and Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Inc, Musk is known for ambitious projects ranging from auto electrification and rocket-building to high-speed transit tunnels. A Musk trust owns 54 percent of the outstanding stock of SpaceX, according to a 2016 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, SpaceX’s most recent. SpaceX has said it would launch its satellites in phases through 2024. It goal of having Internet service available in 2020 is “pretty much on target” with an initial satellite launch by mid-2019, one of the sources said.
OneWeb aims for a first launch between December and February 2019, while Telesat was targeting 2022 for broadband services, abalone square bullseye cufflinks SpaceX employees told Reuters that two Starlink test satellites launched in February, dubbed Tintin A and B, were functioning as intended, The company is refining the orbital path of the satellites after the U.S, Federal Communications Commission, which oversees satellites in orbit, approved a request from SpaceX to expand Tintins’ altitude range, one of the sources said..
The FCC confirmed SpaceX’s modifications, which have not been reported previously, but declined further comment. “We’re using the Tintins to explore that modification,” one of the SpaceX employee sources said. “They’re happy and healthy and we’re talking with them every time they pass a ground station, dozens of times a day.”. SpaceX engineers have used the two test satellites to play online video games at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California and the Redmond office, the source said.
“We were streaming 4k YouTube and playing ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ from Hawthorne to Redmond in the first week,” the person added, In March, the FCC approved Musk’s plan to beam down Internet signals from 4,425 small satellites launched into standard low-Earth orbit - more than two times the total number of active satellites there presently, One SpaceX engineer told Reuters the company has studied plans to add roughly abalone square bullseye cufflinks 10,000 additional satellites after its first array is live to meet bandwidth demand in the coming 20 years, Behrend declined to comment on the plans and referred to a previous FCC filing, which states an additional 7,518 satellites are under consideration..