US: In order to lay its emphasis on the development of its next-generation launch system and a broadband satellite constellation, SpaceX is laying off about 10 percent of its workforce, as reported by SpaceNews.
“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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Space News reports that the layoffs are the first major workforce reduction since the company was founded in 2002, though it did fire a number of workers in 2014. This time, SpaceX is blaming the layoffs on an ambitious slate of projects.
“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,” the company said, in reference to its Starship, Super Heavy, and Starlink constellation projects. “Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations.”
The move comes just a day after CEO Elon Musk showed off the company’s recently-assembled Starship space vehicle, and a month before the company plans to test its commercial crew launch vehicle in preparation for launching humans to the International Space Station.
Last month, SpaceX launched its first U.S. national security space mission, when a SpaceX rocket carrying a U.S. military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral.