SpaceX Layoffs Coming Despite Record Number of 2018 Launches

Happy times are over at SpaceX 1 photo
2018 was the best year in the history of SpaceX when it comes to the number of launches performed. The company sent rockets up for various customers ranging from communications companies to the United States’ Air Force.
But even so, hints of financial distress came via an official statement released by the company this weekend.

As already announced, SpaceX plans to continue launching its recoverable rockets on behalf of its customers this year as well. In 2018, the company managed to reach orbit using its own rockets 20 times, breaking all records in this industry.

SpaceX was initially planning a total of 22 launches last year, a number it will probably not go for in 2019, as it already hinted a while back. But at the same time, the company is eyeing targets far beyond the Earth orbit, like the Moon and Mars.

To do both of these tasks simultaneously would be suicide, as the financial strain would be too much, the company hints.

“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,” SpaceX said in a statement.

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

As a result, SpaceX will be parting ways with an unspecified number of  “talented and hardworking members.”

“We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary,” SpaceX adds.

Although not making public any numbers, sources have already hinted to the scale of the layoffs. Bloomberg cites Jan Vogel, executive director of the South Bay Workforce Investment Board as saying that around 577 positions will be cut from SpaceX’s headquarters in California, representing around 10 percent of the workforce, including production managers, technicians, machinists, or inventory specialists.

The same source claims the announcement for the layoffs came shortly after the launch of the Falcon 9 last Friday, with the employees being sent home to await their fate via email.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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