SpaceX will lay off 10 percent of its staff to fund projects

Musk shares first look of SpaceX 'Starship'

Private space leader SpaceX plans to lay off about 10 percent of its more than 6,000 employees across the nation, the company said Friday. SpaceX has since confirmed the news, saying in a statement that it must get "leaner" in order to achieve its goals - ones that, it said, "have bankrupted other organizations". "This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary".

The job cut announcement coincided with the first SpaceX mission of the year on Friday, as a Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched 10 Iridium satellites to low-Earth orbit.

Last summer, the company fired some senior managers at the company's Redmond, Washington, office, because of disagreements over the pacing of the development and testing of its Starlink satellite programme. The first flight with astronauts aboard is expected in the June timeframe.

That same month, the Elon Musk-led company plans a "hopper test" of its Mars spaceship prototype, which is being assembled in south Texas.

The Wall Street Journal reported in December that the rocket company was planning to raise the funds at a $30.5 billion valuation.

Musk posted the photograph of the Starship to his Twitter account, with some people noting how textured the exterior of the spacecraft is in comparison to the computer render that was teased a few days before.

Assuming that the company now employs more than 6,000 people, a 10 percent cut would amount to 600 jobs.

Formerly known as the Big Falcon Rocket, SpaceX's super heavy-lift vehicle looks to be ready for blast off.

The Pentagon has approved the Falcon 9 for launching high-priority national security payloads and NASA relies on the company to deliver supplies to the International Space Station aboard Dragon cargo ships.

Elon Musk's Space X company is financially healthy and was recently valued at almost United States $30 billion.

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