The Real Reason SpaceX Is Hiring a Farmer
J Thoendell stashed this in Space
The news that SpaceX is hiring a farmer revved plenty of peoples imaginationsinto overdrive: Is the company looking to grow corn in space? Is it going to try to terraform Mars? What the heck is a space farmer, anyway? Does it just want a tax break? Well, the mystery has been solved, and sorry to disappoint you, but it's looking like interplanetary farmers markets aren't going to happen anytime soon.
That much should have probably been obvious when it came out that the SpaceX farmer, a position based at its 900-acre rocket test facility in McGregor, Texas, would need only a high school education and to be able to handle John Deere equipment (although, a Martian tractor would be quite cool).
This weekend, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram put any notion that this is a space-focused position to rest: McGregor mayor Jim Hering simply required the company to create a farming position so that additional land leased to the company for its test site wouldn't go to shit.
SpaceX has been testing rockets in McGregor for several years now, but every time the company wanted to run a test, it had to notify and clear out all farmers living within a one mile radius of the test site. To circumvent that problem, in September, SpaceX leased additional land from the city around the facility, pushing several farmers off the land.
"If business goes south, we can then turn the land over to a farmer in good shape, Hering told the Star-Telegram. "I dont want it to go fallow."
I liked the speculation that they wanted someone for terraforming Mars.
But keeping their land in good shape is a much better reason.