Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX Starship Test Vehicle

Jeannie Matthews
January 13, 2019

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.

The company cited the need to be leaner to keep delivering for customers and develop spacecraft and space-based internet.

The email said laid-off employees will be offered at least eight weeks' pay and other benefits, along with help with finding new jobs, the Times said.

"Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations".

The company said it will "part ways" with some of its manpower, citing "extraordinarily hard challenges ahead". The company says it will lay off 10 percent of its 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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"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission", the company continued. Musk estimated in September that its new launch system would cost somwhere in the range of $2 to 10 billion.

Founded by Musk, SpaceX makes most of its money from multibillion dollar contracts with NASA and satellite launches.

SpaceX has a number of major launches coming this year, too, including two of its mega Falcon Heavy rockets and the launch of its own satellites, Starlink, which are meant to provide high-speed broadband Internet across the globe.

This year the company also will begin "test hops" of Starship, a prototype designed for human travel to Mars, according to the source.

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.

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