Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

SpaceX to layoff 10 per cent of workforce

SpaceX to layoff 10 per cent of workforce

SpaceX is making 10% of its workforce redundant - with the tech company saying it needs to become "leaner" if it is to accomplish ambitious projects such as creating a spaceship that can carry astronauts to Mars. "This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary".

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.

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Last month, SpaceX launched its first national security space mission for the USA military, using a Falcon 9 rocket to carry a $500 million Global Positioning System satellite made by Lockheed Martin. 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.

SpaceX makes most of its money from multibillion-dollar contracts with NASA and satellite launches. In December, it launched its first United States national security space mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Another Elon Musk company, electric auto maker Tesla Inc, said in June it was cutting 9 percent of its workforce by removing several thousand jobs across the company in cost reduction measures.

Last summer, the company fired some senior managers at the company's Redmond, Washington, office, because of disagreements over the pacing of the development and testing of its Starlink satellite programme.

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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.

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