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SpaceX to layoff 10 per cent of workforce

13 January 2019

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.

"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission", the company continued.

About 600 of the firm's 6,000-strong workforce are being laid off, with the company blaming "extraordinary hard challenges ahead" for its decision.

News of the layoff first surfaced from an email sent by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, who reportedly called the business move "a very hard but necessary decision". 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".

The statement did not disclose the size of the layoffs, but a company source, speaking on background, estimated the cuts at 10 percent of the workforce.

SpaceX's website says it now has about 6,000 employees, meaning a 10 percent reduction would affect roughly 600 people.

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Elon Musk, who heads the company, believes it will cost $10bn (£7.7bn) to develop a spaceship which could send people to Mars.

No astronauts will be on board for this demonstration mission, but this is the first launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon, a spacecraft that will soon transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

According to reports on the internet, Musk said that the company should have its first orbital prototype by June this year.

This week marks a busy period for SpaceX, with the company due to launch another batch of satellites into space on its Falcon 9 rocket later on Friday.

Formerly known as the BFR, Musk announced on Thursday that the spaceflight company's test version of the Starship, dubbed the "hopper", has just finished being assembled at SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica Village, Texas.

SpaceX to layoff 10 per cent of workforce