Source: SpaceX to lay off 10% of its work­force

The Tribune (SLO) - - News / Obituaries - BY SA­MAN­THA MASUNAGA

SpaceX will lay off about 10 per­cent of its more than 6,000 em­ploy­ees, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said Fri­day.

The com­pany re­sponded to Los An­ge­les Times ques­tions with a state­ment: “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. Ei­ther of these de­vel­op­ments, even when at­tempted sep­a­rately, have bankrupted other or­ga­ni­za­tions. This means we must part ways with some tal­ented and hard­work­ing mem­bers of our team.”

Hawthorne-based SpaceX is of­fer­ing a min­i­mum of eight weeks’ pay and other ben­e­fits to those af­fected, ac­cord­ing to an email sent Fri­day to em­ploy­ees by SpaceX Pres­i­dent Gwynne Shot- well. The com­pany will also pro­vide as­sis­tance with ca­reer coach­ing, resume help and job searches, ac­cord­ing to the email.

Even with SpaceX’s ramp-up of satel­lite launches – 21 in 2018, up from 18 the year be­fore – it has oc­ca­sion­ally cut its work­force. Last sum­mer, the com­pany fired some se­nior man­agers at the com­pany’s Red­mond, Wash., of­fice, be­cause of dis­agree­ments over the pac­ing of the de­vel­op­ment and test­ing of its Star­link satel­lite pro­gram.

SpaceX makes most of its money from com­mer­cial and na­tional se­cu­rity satel­lite launches, as well as two NASA con­tracts, one a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar deal to de­liver cargo to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion and the other up to $2.6-bil­lion to de­velop a cap­sule that will de­liver as­tro­nauts to the space sta­tion.

The first launch of that cap­sule, with­out a crew, is planned for Fe­bru­ary. That same month, the Elon Musk-led com­pany plans a “hop­per test” of its Mars space­ship pro­to­type, which is be­ing as­sem­bled in south Texas.

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