Mon, 23 Sep 2019

SpaceX to reduce its 6,000-strong workforce by about 10 percent

By Sheetal Sukhija, Shanghai News
13 Jan 2019, 09:20 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - The U.S.-based rocket company owned by Elon Musk, SpaceX has announced its plans to layoff 10 percent of its workforce.

Merely hours after the company successfully launched 10 Iridium communications satellites into orbit, it revealed its plans to reduce its workforce that currently consists of 6,000 employees.

SpaceX launched 10 Iridium communications satellites into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The launch is part of the 18 similar launches planned by the California-based rocket building this year. 

Following the launch, SpaceX released a statement which said, "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. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations."

The statement released late of Friday added, "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. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary."

The announcement by the Hawthorne, California-based private space flight company means that roughly 600 employees are set to lose their jobs.

The announcement by SpaceX comes merely days after it concluded a momentous year of launches.

In 2018, SpaceX successfully pulled off 21 rocket launches and even sent a Tesla roadster into orbit on its Falcon Heavy rocket.

As the year came to an end, the company launched its first U.S. national security space mission.

In December 2018, a SpaceX rocket carrying a U.S. military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral.

Since 2010, SpaceX has launched 67 Falcon 9 rockets and one Falcon Heavy.

In June 2015, the company experienced one in-flight failure.

A year later, it experienced one on-pad explosion.

Both the issues were related to problems with the helium system used to pressurize the rocket's second-stage liquid oxygen propellant tank.

The recent announcement by the company comes months after Musk fired at least seven members of the senior management team leading a SpaceX satellite launch project.

The management changes in June 2018 by Musk were reportedly related to disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites.

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