SpaceX to fire 10% of staff, bracing for ‘extraordinarily hard times ahead’

  • SpaceX to fire 10% of staff, bracing for ‘extraordinarily hard times ahead’

SpaceX to fire 10% of staff, bracing for ‘extraordinarily hard times ahead’

SpaceX says it's reducing its workforce by about 10 percent as part of a strategic realignment to focus the California-based company on providings its global Starlink satellite broadband service and furthering CEO Elon Musk's drive to make humanity a multiplanet species.

The Starship is SpaceX's new class of super-heavy launch vehicle that will replace the company's current crop of products, and will allow for potential missions around the Moon and to Mars.

Now known as Starship Hopper, the prototype rocket was completed this week at the company's Texas launch site and is now ready to be used for sub-orbital testing.

The first launch of that capsule, without a crew, is planned for February.

The announcement came as SpaceX on Friday launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying 10 communications satellites.

At the end of a year ago, SpaceX valuation rose to $30.5 billion after initiating a $500 million equity sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. In November 2018, Musk announced that from now BFR will be called Starship.

The Journal, citing industry sources, said SpaceX takes in about $2.5 billion a year.

Assuming that the company now employs more than 6,000 people, a 10 percent cut would amount to 600 jobs.

This two-stage vehicle - composed of a Booster and a Ship - is created to eventually replace the company's Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and the Dragon spacecraft.

The Pentagon has approved the Falcon 9 for launching high-priority national security payloads and NASA relies on the company to deliver supplies to the International Space Station aboard Dragon cargo ships.