Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Economy | By

SpaceX to lay off about 10 percent of its workforce

SpaceX to lay off about 10 percent of its workforce

Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX will reduce its workforce by about 10% of the company's more than 6,000 employees, it said on Friday.

Some employees of the McGregor test facility were instructed to go home at 4 p.m. Friday and not to return, KWTX has learned.

Elon Musk has shared the first photograph of the Starship, the latest spacecraft being developed by his space exploration company, SpaceX. SpaceX has since confirmed the news, saying in a statement that it must get "leaner" in order to achieve its goals - ones that, it said, "have bankrupted other organizations". "This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team", the company said.

The company said it will "part ways" with some of its employees as it faces "extraordinarily hard challenges ahead".

The first launch of that capsule, without a crew, is planned for February.

Now known as Starship Hopper, the prototype rocket was completed this week at the company's Texas launch site and is now ready to be used for sub-orbital testing.

But paying for those ambitious plans will be a challenge.


In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX was raising $500 million, taking its valuation to $30.5 billion.

"Other concerns include the company's large investment plans and its connection to Mr. Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX, whose volatile behavior has led to turmoil at the electric-car maker Tesla Inc., where he also is chief executive".

In November, the rocket was renamed from Big Falcon Rocket to Starship. The Washington Post reported the review was ordered, in part, because of concerns raised in the wake of a podcast in which Musk apparently smoked marijuana. The company says it will lay off 10 percent of its workforce.

The orbital Starship will be similar to the Falcon rockets in that there will be two stages: the Super Heavy booster that will land back on Earth after getting the Starship away from Earth's gravitational pull, and then the Starship that will take people to Mars.

Founded in 2002, SpaceX has racked up a string of launch successes, punctuated by only a few failures over the past 16 years.

SpaceX makes most of its money from multibillion-dollar contracts with NASA and satellite launches.

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