SpaceX to lay off 10 percent of workforce

Ivan Schwartz
January 14, 2019

The company broke its own record with 21 launches in 2018.

The company said it will "part ways" with some of its employees as it faces "extraordinarily hard challenges ahead". "Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organisations", the company said in a statement to Gizmodo.

Citing an email sent to employees, the Los Angeles Times reported that the company was offering those affected a minimum of eight weeks' pay and other benefits, including career coaching and resume assistance.

"This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team", the statement continued.

SpaceX founder Musk shared the first real images of the prototype from its Texas launch site and reassured his followers it is "not a rendering". A crewed Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to send USA astronauts to the ISS later this year. Musk reportedly fired at least seven people last summer over disagreements about the performance speed of the company's Starlink satellite programme; all were reported to have been senior management staffers. SpaceX reportedly plans to launch the starship to suborbital heights to prove the viability of its systems.

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He unveiled a steel-clad test flight prototype of the rocket, called Starship, this week.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A, is undergoing a series of tests and checks before blast off on its first orbital test flight, now set for January 17. The project is expected to cost the company between $2 billion and $10 billion. SpaceX, headquartered in Hawthorne, California, was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk. The company also took on about $250 million in debt previous year in its first loan sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. As the Times noted, Shotwell told CNBC last year that SpaceX has had "many years" of profitability.

Musk has estimated it will cost up to U.S. $10 billion to develop a spaceship that could send humans to Mars.

The Starlink project is set to compete with Canada's Telesat and OneWeb to become the first to market with a new satellite-based internet service.

Other reports by GizPress

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