At noontime on Monday, workers from the Mojave Air and Space Port who ventured into town to frequent Stoken’ Donuts and other popular lunch spots saw quite a startling sight. A truck was driving through downtown pulling a large billboard advertising jobs at SpaceX, which is located about 100 miles to the south in Hawthorne.
Elon Musk’s rocket company took it to the streets — literally — in an effort to lure away workers from the bustling desert spaceport, which is home to such companies as Virgin Galactic, Scaled Composites, XCOR, Masten Space Systems and Firestar Engineering. Apparently heeding some friendly advice, the driver reportedly stayed in town and did not enter the grounds of the airport.
The mobile recruitment campaign has Mojave buzzing. The simplest — and most logical — explanation is that SpaceX is growing rapidly and needs to recruit qualified workers. And Mojave is certainly a good place to accomplish that task.
Another school of thought is that SpaceX is striking back at Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which has hired a number of former SpaceX employees. (I like this theory a whole lot better. Mogul vs. Mogul. Clash of the egos. Battle of the billionauts. I mean, the headlines alone are just….priceless.)
Whatever the case, I’ll keep my eyes open and my camera phone at the ready in case the rolling billboard shows up again. Who knows, maybe SpaceX will send a plane towing a banner next time. That would be a lot more appropriate for Mojave. And more interesting to see.