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article imageSpaceX 'parting ways' with 10 percent of work force to get leaner

By Karen Graham     Jan 12, 2019 in Technology
Hawthorne - Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX will reduce its workforce by about 10 percent of the company’s more than 6,000 employees, it said on Friday.
In a statement on Friday, the company said its finances were "healthy," but it needs to "part ways" with some of its employees, a "very difficult but necessary" move to get "leaner" going forward.
"To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company," a spokesman said in an email. "Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations. 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 difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary."
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GRACE twin satellites and five Iridium commercial communicat...
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GRACE twin satellites and five Iridium commercial communication satellites as seen in this NASA photo lifting off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California
Bill INGALLS, NASA/AFP
This is not the first time SpaceX has pared-down its workforce. In June, Elon Musk fired at least seven senior managers who were leading a SpaceX satellite launch project, according to Reuters. The firings were the result of a dispute over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites.
Competition for satellite-based Internet
The competition is fierce in the world of satellite-based Internet services. SpaceX is competing with OneWeb and Canada’s Telesat to be the first to market the new service. This one project is hugely expensive.
This competition partly resulted in the management shake-up and Musk bringing in new managers from SpaceX headquarters in California to replace a number of the managers he fired in Seattle. SpaceX also has contracts with the US military and commercial firms to deliver satellites into orbit.
In December, the company was valued at $30.5 billion after completing a $500 million equity sale. The company also took on about $250 million in debt last year in its first loan sale, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This artist's illustration courtesy of SpaceX shows the SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) passenge...
This artist's illustration courtesy of SpaceX shows the SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) passenger spacecraft, which has only been shown in designs and images so far
HO, SPACEX/AFP
Big spaceships and ferrying astronauts
Another project that is going to eat up money is Elon Musk's plan to use technology to fly tourists to space and, potentially, one day send humans to Mars. In September, according to CNN.
Musk announced SpaceX would spend between $2 billion and $10 billion in developing an ultra-powerful spaceship and rocket system, recently renamed Starship and Super Heavy.
Musk has predicted that a trip around the moon with passengers could occur as soon as 2013. Speaking of passengers, SpaceX, along with Boeing is working on the development of a crewed capsule to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
More about Spacex, Work force, Lay offs, interplanetary spacecraft, spacebased internet
 
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