The barista position is one held by aspiring actors, writers, and leaders in public service. It is a good, honest profession that performs a service for the masses that is mission criticalfor anyone’s day. The job welcomes people of all backgrounds. But to be a barista at SpaceX, you’ll have to meet one standard that’s not required at Starbucks or even your preferred independent coffeeshop.
Making lattes at SpaceX requires you comply with rulesfor the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR for short. When you serve coffee to the people who develop rockets that carry spy technology into space, you must be a few things: You must be a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, a protected individual as defined by the Constitution, or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the State Department. You must also be ok with “frequent bending and stooping” — though that’s a barista requirement, not one of ITAR.
On Wednesday, Reuters dropped a bombshell reportthat SpaceX CEO Elon Musk flew to the Redmond location back in June, and “within hours of landing … had fired at least seven members of the program’s senior management team … the culmination of disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites.
There are some 22 open jobs at the facility, Reuters noted in its report. One of them is for barista, a position that may require you prepare coffee for Musk.
“I used to have so much coffee and Diet Coke that I’d get really wired and then I’d get over-caffeinated and it wouldn’t be good. I’m cutting down to, I think, more reasonable portions these days,” he told AutoBild in 2014.
In February, SpaceX launched two Starlink satellites, part of its wider plan to send 4,425 satellites into orbit to bring broadband connectivity to the 57 percent of the globe without the internet.
If all goes to plan, the company could begin deploying its wider array as soon as next year, with the goal of completing the array by 2024. That’s the same year as SpaceX’s proposed first Mars mission with humans, and Musk is hoping that the revenue from the business will fund its other projects. SpaceX is aiming big, suggesting that it could have 40 million subscribers bringing in $30 billion revenue by the year 2025.
Musk addressed the question of why SpaceX has to follow ITAR rulesa little more than two years ago at the International Aeronautical Congress in Australia.
“When are you gonna hire people from other countries than the US,” asked an audience member during a Q&A session, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
“I think people are a bit confused about this; unfortunately, this is not up to us,” Musk replied. “U.S. Government regulations make getting a job in the U.S. hard as it is, but if you’re working on rocket technology, that’s considered an advanced weapons technology, so even a normal work visa isn’t sufficient unless you get a special permission from the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of State. So I want to be clear, this is not out of some desire of SpaceX to just hire people with green cards.”
He continued: “I think that this is not a wise policy for the U.S., because there are so many talented people all around the world that would love to have worked at our company, but unless they can somehow get a green card we’re legally prevented from hiring anyone … I really wish we could do more, it’s just our hands are tied.”
So, if you want to keep the engineers who are taking humanity into space caffeinated, you must follow ITAR rules, because those same engineers may also be working on projects related to space weapons.
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Satellite Internet Plan Slammed by ExpertsSpaceX’s Barista Job Posting Has One Requirement Most Don’t