The Seattle SpaceX engineering office will employ several hundred to a thousand people, according to Bloomberg. Musk and Wyler first announced their preliminary plans in November to build 700 satellites weighing less than 250 pounds, each costing less than $1 million to produce.
“We’re going to try and do for satellites what we’ve done for rockets,” Musk said at a press conference at SpaceX headquarters, Bloomberg reported.
At 250 pounds, the satellites would fall in size between traditional communications satellites weighing several tons and the tiny shoebox-sized alternatives favored by modern startups. A fleet of 700 satellites has never been done.
Wyler, who previously ran Google’s satellite division, is now the founder of WorldVu Satellites. He owns a portion of the radio spectrum, which the satellites could use to provide internet to previously inaccessible parts of the world.
The satellites would generate revenue that would go toward Musk’s dream to colonize Mars, plus teach his team the details of space communication. He said during a Reddit AMA last week that he plans to reveal further details about the SpaceX craft that would carry the first humans to the planet in the mid-2020s by the end of this year.