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Home / Science / SpaceX plans to lay off 10 percent of workforce – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX plans to lay off 10 percent of workforce – Spaceflight Now



HISTORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS AND USED WITH PERMISSION

SpaceX founder Elon Musk talks to journalists after Falcon Heavy's first flight in February 2018. Credit: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

SpaceX, the Newborn company that rocked the launch industry with reusable low-cost repeaters and ambitious long-range plans to transport people to Mars and beyond, plans to reduce the workforce by about 10%, company sources said Friday.

The revelation came just hours after the California missile builder successfully launched 10 Iridium communications satellites in orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket at the Vandenberg Air Base, California, on the first of 18 SpaceX flights scheduled for this issue. year.

"Continue to provide for our customers and To be able to develop the interplanetary spacecraft and a global space network, SpaceX must become a leaner company," the company said in a statement released Friday. "One of these developments, even if attempted separately, has bankrupted other organizations.

" This means that we have to separate ourselves from talented and hard-working members of our team. We are grateful for everything they have done and for their commitment to the SpaceX mission. This action is taken only because of the extraordinarily difficult challenges that await us and it would not be otherwise necessary. "

A company official said SpaceX remains" financially strong "and waits for an intense year in space, including the first flights of Crew Dragon ferry ships NASA will use to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. [19659004] The first unmanned pilot flight of the Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled for next month with the first flight carrying astronauts in the middle of June.

In addition, two launches of the powerful Falcon Heavy three-core missile are planned. , along with the implementation of the company's first Starlink satellites, the first of over 7,000 planned as part of a global space broadband constellation

is pursuing the development of a new space launch system known as the 39, spaceship, a fully reusable launch system SpaceX officials say it will be the most powerful in the orld world, capable of transporting humans to Mars and alt re destinations of deep space.

Photo of a Falcon 9 rocket file. Credit: SpaceX

But paying those ambitious plans will be a challenge. The Wall Street Journal reported on November 20 that SpaceX, founded by the charismatic internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, had raised $ 250 million from its first sale of high-yield loans.

Some investors, the newspaper reported, "have expressed doubts about the company's record of burning through money and its experience with high-profile incidents, which previously led to declines in revenue." [19659006] "Other concerns include the company's large investment plans and its connection to Mr. Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, whose volatile behavior led to turmoil in the electric car maker Tesla Inc., where he is also CEO . "

NASA announced on November 24 that it was implementing an important security overhaul of SpaceX and Boeing, which is building its space ship ferry to the space agency. The Washington Post reported that the review had been ordered, in part, because of concerns raised in the wake of a podcast in which Musk apparently smoked marijuana.

The Journal, citing industry sources, said that SpaceX occupies about $ 2.5 billion a year. Profit margins "are limited in part by a payroll of about 7,000 employees, the cost of running three stepping stones (two in Florida and one in California) and spending on the development of a fourth site," he said. newspaper. The company's website says that the workforce number "6,000 +."

SpaceX rocked the global launch industry, subtracting the competition with the Falcon 9 rockets for just $ 60 million, tens of millions less than other rockets in its class and refining technology to recover the boosters from before phase so they can be renewed and flown back.

SpaceX launched 67 Falcon 9 rockets from 2010 and a Falcon Heavy, testing a flight failure in June 2015 and an in-pad explosion later this year, both related to problems with the helium system used to pressurize the liquid oxygen propellant tank of the second stage of the rocket.

From the failure on the pad, SpaceX successfully launched 40 missiles in a row, including Friday's flight, and recovered 33 top-level boosters, a venture that no other rocket company ever attempted.

The Pentagon has approved Falcon 9 for the launch of high-priority national security payloads and NASA relies on the company to deliver supplies to the International Space Station aboard the Dragon's merchant ships

SpaceX holds contracts worth $ 3.04 billion for 20 space station refueling flights for next year, according to the Government Liability Bureau. The company holds another NASA contract for an unspecified amount for at least six additional flights until 2024.

SpaceX also holds a $ 2.6 billion NASA contract to build and launch the Crew Dragon capsule.


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