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SpaceX To Lay Off 10 Percent Of Its Workforce

Space-X's Falcon 9 rocket with 10 satellites launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in 2017. The company says it will lay off 10 percent of its workforce.
Matt Hartman
/
AP
Space-X's Falcon 9 rocket with 10 satellites launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in 2017. The company says it will lay off 10 percent of its workforce.

SpaceX, the pioneering space technology company led by Elon Musk, will lay off about 10 percent of its more than 6,000 employees.

The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

In a statement, a company spokesman confirmed the layoff without specifying how many employees will be released.

"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," said the statement. "This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. ... This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary."

A company source says SpaceX remains financially strong and can continue to "manufacture and launch at a reliable cadence in the years ahead."

This year the company also will begin "test hops" of Starship, a prototype designed for human travel to Mars, according to the source.

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Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.
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