Elon Musk's SpaceX To Slash 10 Percent Of Staff

Elon Musk posts first glimpse of SpaceX's finished Starship test vehicle

Elon Musk posts first glimpse of SpaceX's finished Starship test vehicle

"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 stated, referring to its ongoing work on its Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicles and Starlink constellation. "This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary".

It's meant to undergo suborbital flights, with the first expected in March/April 2019, before hopefully moving on to orbital flights in 2020.

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

In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX was raising $500 million, taking its valuation to $30.5 billion.

Some investors, the newspaper reported, "expressed misgivings about the company's record of burning through cash and its experience with high-profile accidents, which have previously led to dips in revenue".

In November, the rocket was renamed from Big Falcon Rocket to Starship. It reduced nine percent of its workforce, thus removing several thousand jobs across the company in cost reduction measures.

Even with SpaceX's ramp-up of satellite launches - 21 in 2018, up from 18 the year before - it has occasionally cut its workforce.

SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk has tweeted a photo of the former company's under-development "Starship" - or at least, a version that will be used for testing. Founded by Musk, SpaceX makes most of its money from multibillion dollar contracts with NASA and satellite launches.

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