SpaceX to lay off 10 percent of workforce

Christopher Davidson
January 13, 2019

SpaceX will lay off ten per cent of its roughly 6,000 workers, announcing Friday that it needs to become leaner to accomplish ambitious projects such as creating a spaceship that can carry astronauts to Mars.

The company cited the need to be leaner to keep delivering for customers and develop spacecraft and space-based internet.

SpaceX is developing Starship alongside their Super Heavy rocket to ferry humans to and from the Moon, Mars, and even potentially other locations in the solar system. "This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team".

Assuming that the company now employs more than 6,000 people, a 10 percent cut would amount to 600 jobs. In a statement, SpaceX officials said the business decision will allow the company to continue succeeding. Over the weekend, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared on Twitter on Saturday morning (Jan 5) that the flight-test version of the Starship vehicle could be ready to embark on its first excursion in just a few weeks.

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The company said it will "part ways" with some of its manpower, citing "extraordinarily hard challenges ahead". The company has two NASA contracts, a multibillion-dollar deal to deliver thousands of pounds of cargo to the International Space Station, and competes for military launch contracts. The companies will shuttle NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station, something that the USA has paid Russian Federation to do since the shuttle program ended nearly nine years ago.

Elon Musk's Space X company is financially healthy and was recently valued at almost USA $30 billion. It is now working on a new Dragon crew capsule that could start carrying people to the orbiting outpost later this year.

According to Ars, one industry source suggested that this might also be a way for SpaceX chief Elon Musk to let some of the company's lower performing employees go.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company planned to raise $500 million in funding, pushing its value to $30.5 billion.

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