If you’re in space and you want to make money, then move to Texas. Space jobs increasing in Texas are the result of the state’s job-building efforts. Quite a few private space companies are moving into Texas to build rockets and launch facilities. SpaceX, one of the more famous rocket-building companies in the business, has decided to build a launch operations center near Brownsville, Texas. There are all sorts of possible reasons why SpaceX decided to build their own launch operations center, but a definite one would be the $15 million that the Texas government is giving them as an incentive to build in Texas.
Firefly and Falcon Rockets
There’s another rocket launch company receiving a smaller sum from Texas to also move operations to the Lone Star State. That company is Firefly Space Systems, currently located in Hawthorne, California. Hawthorne is also where SpaceX manufactures its Falcon rockets. Firefly is getting $1.2 million from Cedar Park, Texas, a suburb of Austin, to move there and create at least 200 jobs. The jobs would have to have an average salary of $60,000. The goal is to have that many jobs with that salary level by 2019. Looking at Firefly’s site, most of the open careers are design and production jobs. The Cedar Park City Council approved giving $1.2 million to Firefly on 25 September, 2014.
This makes it appear as if Firefly is joining the trend of hipsters migrating to Austin, Texas. However, Firefly already has a 200 acre test site near Briggs, Texas, which is a little over 30 minutes’ drive from Cedar Park. It makes sense, then, to locate close by. Firefly’s rocket, the Alpha, will be significantly smaller in size and payload delivery ability when compared with SpaceX’s Falcon 9. But it will likely also be cheaper to launch.
Big or Small – Texas Has Them All
Although SpaceX and Firefly are making headlines, and potentially, money, there are other space companies in Texas. XCOR moved its research and development to Midland, Texas, in 2012. Blue Origin, the space company funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, does its rocket engine testing near Van Horn, Texas. And of course the 800 lb. gorillas named Boeing and Lockheed Martin also have some facilities in Texas.
All of these companies have career openings advertised on their websites. Boeing and Lockheed Martin advertise their openings here, on Clearancejobs.com. If New Space is interesting, and the thought of moving to Texas isn’t too daunting, perusing those openings and applying might be the right thing to do.