This past week, employees of Scribd had an amazing opportunity to satisfy our collective inner nerds and space enthusisasts for a trip to SpaceX.
Based in Hawthorne, SpaceX has unique ties to Silicon Valley. It’s founder, Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer of Space Exploration Technologies, also co-founded Tesla, the electric car manufacturer and is their CEO and Product Architect. SpaceX is currently the world’s fastest growing launch provider, delivering cargo and supplies for various commercial, governmental and private entities.
After a comprehensive tour of the manufacturing space, Musk briefly met with our crew and answered questions about the future of space travel and the mission of SpaceX.
While NASA retires their expedition shuttles, SpaceX has stepped up to secure multiple bids for space delivery, while also scaling rockets for human travel. Most of this manufacturing is underneath a massive roof of a Hawthorne facility that once assembled Boeing-747 fuselages.
Today, research and development, manufacturing, assembly and software is housed in California with testing in Texas and launches in Florida. It was an incredible sight to see so much happening under one roof, when before, some of these operations were handled through external vendors or separate manufacturing plants. The factory floor was not a cookie cutter mold – it represented a vast cross-section of Los Angeles with a flood of young, talented workers, and older skilled employees who were an integral component of Hawthorne’s deep roots with aeronautics and space. As one Scribd employee said, “This is what American ingenuity looks like. Awesome!”
We were not allowed to take any pictures in the facility, but we did document our journey there and back.