SpaceX engineers say they're looking to fill some 'hot jobs' and reduce outages on the Starlink satellite-internet service

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SpaceX engineers say they're looking to fill some 'hot jobs' and reduce outages on the Starlink satellite-internet service
SpaceX founder Elon Musk.Kim Shiflett/NASA
  • Engineers working on SpaceX's Starlink listed a number of "hot jobs" that SpaceX are looking to fill during a Q&A session with the Reddit's Starlink community on Saturday.
  • SpaceX is hiring numerous roles in design and engineering, they said, and gave out an email for people to send resumes.
  • They also promised improvements to Starlink, which is already giving users speeds of more than 160 Megabits per second.
  • For example, they were working on reducing outages caused by obstructing branches or poles near Starlink terminals on the ground, they said.
  • The SpaceX engineers also said that reducing production costs — and therefore the cost of Starlink for users — was "going well but this is no doubt one of the hardest challenges we're tackling."

Engineers at Elon Musk's SpaceX laid out Saturday how they plan to improve the aerospace company's Starlink satellite-internet service — and said they're looking for people to fill some "hot jobs."

The engineers hosted an AMA on the Reddit Starlink Community to answer questions about the company's Starlink public beta test, which is giving some users blistering speeds of more than 160 megabits per second (Mbps).

The engineers said they were working on ways to reduce internet dropouts caused by obstructing branches or poles near Starlink terminals on the ground, but did not elaborate. "We're working on some software features that are going to make this much better and, long term, the clearance you'll need is going to shrink as the constellation grows. So this will get much better!" they said.

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They listed various roles in production design, product design, and software for the Starlink internet service, and gave out an email address for budding engineers to send resumes to. SpaceX is also hiring for antenna engineer, manufacturing development engineer, and mechanical engineer roles, they said.

"Starlink is an extremely flexible system and will get better over time as we make the software smarter. Latency, bandwidth, and reliability can all be improved significantly – come help us get there faster!" the SpaceX engineers wrote.

SpaceX launched its Starlink public beta test on October 26, after introducing its private beta test in June.

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How SpaceX is trying to make Starlink better

The engineers explained how they're hoping to improve Starlink, which involves a network of almost 900 satellites beaming the internet service down to Earth. "We update all of our satellites weekly, and push software updates to the Starlink dishes, WiFi routers, and phone app every couple weeks," they said.

In answer to a question about reducing production costs of the Starlink kit, SpaceX said: "It's going well but this is no doubt one of the hardest challenges we're tackling and there are always ways to improve."

Their comments echo SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk's tweet on November 2, when he said that keeping terminal cost low is "our most difficult technical challenge."

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The Starlink kit, which includes a tripod, a WiFi router and a terminal to connect to the satellites costs $499, plus $99 for the monthly public beta subscription.

Read more: A Texas superintendent reveals how — and why — he got SpaceX to turn his rural school district into a Starlink satellite-internet laboratory

The Reddit Starlink community so far seems to be impressed with the Starlink internet service. Despite SpaceX saying users should expect speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps, some have consistently reported download speeds faster than 160 Mbps.

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The fastest speed recorded on a list compiled by the community was 208.63 Mbps, in Seattle.

Other Reddit users have posted pictures and videos of their Starlink terminal in high-speed winds, deep snow, and freezing temperatures, showing internet speeds reaching 175 Mbps even in extreme weather conditions.

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