Economy

Cuts propel SpaceX staff on a journey into the unknown

Cuts propel SpaceX staff on a journey into the unknown

One of the company's most recent launches involved sending a cargo capsule to the International Space Station.

"This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary, " the company said in a statement.

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

The layoffs were announced to workers in an email from President Gwynne Shotwell, the Los Angeles Times reported. "This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team".

The SpaceX founder shared the first real images of the prototype from its Texas launch site, telling Twitter followers it is "not a rendering".

In 2019, SpaceX plans to continue its high launch rate, in addition to finishing the development of its Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Musk removed seven senior figures from the firm last June after he became frustrated with the slow pace at which the team were developing and testing the Starlink satellites of the company.

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Back in September, Musk revealed the new design of the Big Falcon Rocket, now simply called Starship, and confessed he wanted to emulate the design of the comic book rocket.

SpaceX is laying off 10% of its 6,000-person workforce as it tackles two hugely expensive projects.

Last month, SpaceX launched its first national security space mission for the US military, using a Falcon 9 rocket to carry a $500 million Global Positioning System satellite made by Lockheed Martin.

Company CEO Elon Musk has said that he expects the first hops to be within the next four weeks, but that is likely an optimistic schedule.

SpaceX has recently been raising a new $500 million funding round that would value the company at an estimated $30 billion. "This is probably one of the most challenging - if not the most challenging - projects we've undertaken", Shotwell said.

SpaceX has also embarked on a mission to beam internet services to Earth around the globe through a network of satellites dubbed Starlink, the first set of which will be deployed this year.