SpaceX is reportedly laying off about 10% of its workforce

falcon 9 rocket launch space mission iridium next 5 march 30 2018 spacex 40227112595_c34a1cf8d1_oA Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX launches the Iridium NEXT-5 mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base on March 30, 2018.SpaceX/Flickr (public domain)

SpaceX, the rocket company owned by Elon Musk, will lay off about 10% of its employees, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday, citing an unnamed source.

SpaceX currently has more than 6,000 employees and has been working rapidly to build and start testing a prototype of its brand-new rocket system.

Here's the statement SpaceX gave to the LA Times:

"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."

According to the LA Times, SpaceX is offering the affected employees eight weeks' severance pay and other career resources.

The news was reportedly sent to SpaceX employees in an email from company president and COO Gwynne Shotwell.

The layoffs come less than a month after SpaceX announced plans to raise another $500 million in investment funding. The company had previously raised $507 million April 2018.

That money is likely being used to further two ambitious projects. The company is trying to develop, build, and launch Starlink, an effort to cover Earth in ultra-fast broadband internet. It's also building the prototype of its Big Falcon Rocket system (BFR), which is designed to bring people to Mars.

SpaceX also hopes to use BFR to send a Japanese billionaire and a crew of artists around the moon and create the world's fastest transportation system.
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