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Elon Musk's SpaceX to lay off 10 per cent of workforce

12 January 2019

Elon Musk said on Friday that his company, SpaceX, had completed the installation of a Starship reusable space-rocket system launch vehicle for a suborbital test flight.

The facility had a workforce of about 500 in 2018. "Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations", SpaceX said in a statement.

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"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission", the company continued.

The company said it will "part ways" with some of its manpower, citing "extraordinarily hard challenges ahead".

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Last month, SpaceX launched its first United States national security space mission, when a SpaceX rocket carrying a U.S. military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral.

Citing an email sent to employees on Friday, the Los Angeles Times said the company was offering those affected a minimum of eight weeks' pay and other benefits, including career coaching and resume assistance.

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The statement did not disclose the size of the layoffs, but a company source, speaking on background, estimated the cuts at 10 percent of the workforce. A Falcon 9 rocket was carrying 10 Iridium Communications satellites, the final set of satellites for Iridium, which is replacing its entire constellation. The firings were related to disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites.