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Elon Musk's SpaceX to cut 10% of staff amid 'difficult challenges'

13 January 2019
Elon Musk's SpaceX to cut 10% of staff amid 'difficult challenges'

Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX is going to slash its almost 6,000-stong workforce by 10 percent in an effort to become "leaner", the company said in a statement cited by media. 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".

It is believed the layoffs would affect around 600 employees, who would receive a minimum of eight weeks' pay and other benefits, while the company also promised to assist with career coaching and job searching.

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

"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission", the company continued. "This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary", it reportedly added. In December, it launched its first United States national security space mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

But the company has several expensive projects in the works.

SpaceX launched its first rocket of 2019 early Friday. The firings were related to disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites. The company says it will lay off 10 percent of its workforce.

Despite the staffing cuts, the company has expressed confidence in its financial standing and its investors, and it plans to launch two missions of its Falcon Heavy rockets along with starting test hops of Starship before year's end.