Local

January 14, 2019
 

SpaceX to lay off 10 percent of workforce to become leaner

AP

HAWTHORNE, Calif.–SpaceX will lay off 10 percent of its roughly 6,000 workers, announcing Jan. 11 that it needs to become leaner to accomplish ambitious projects such as creating a spaceship that can carry astronauts to Mars.

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

The layoffs were announced to workers in an email from President Gwynne Shotwell, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The email said laid-off employees will be offered at least eight weeks’ pay and other benefits, along with help with finding new jobs, the Times said.

Elon Musk’s company is financially healthy and was recently valued at nearly $30 billion. It has a lucrative business sending government and commercial satellites into orbit, including a launch from California on Jan. 11, and delivering supplies to the International Space Station.

But the company has several expensive projects in the works. Musk has estimated it will cost up to $10 billion to develop a spaceship that could send humans to Mars. This week he unveiled a steel-clad test flight prototype of the rocket, which he calls Starship.

Another $10 billion project called Starlink would create a constellation of satellites to provide affordable broadband internet service.

This year, the company plans to begin Starship test flights and to launch the first Starlink satellites.

“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 statement said. “Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – February 15, 2019

News Former Air Force tech sergeant who defected to Iran charged with spying – A former Air Force counterintelligence specialist, a technical sergeant, who defected to Iran about five years after leaving the Air Force, has been charged with revealing classified information as well as research about her former colleagues to representatives of the Tehran...
 
 

News Briefs – February 15, 2019

Pentagon official assures Iraqis of limited U.S. military role The top Pentagon official assured Iraqi leaders Feb. 12 that the U.S. will stick to its limited military role in Iraq, a message aimed at recent talk by some Iraqi politicians of forcing a U.S. troop withdrawal. Pat Shanahan, the acting secretary of defense, said that...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

High Desert Hangar Stories: Tony LeVier and the wall

Courtesy photograph Tony LeVier and ground crew with the XF-90. With all due respect to the rock group Pink Floyd, back in 1950 there were very few “bricks in the wall” known as the sound barrier. Today, a multitude of pilo...