SpaceX will fire up to 10% of its workforce, the company said on Friday evening. The company has defined job cuts as "a strategic realignment" designed to ensure it is positioned to succeed in the long run.
Employees were announced Friday in an e-mail from the company president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell. The company has a workforce of over 6,000 employees.
"To continue to provide our customers with the ability to develop interplanetary spacecraft and a global space network, SpaceX must become a leaner company," a company official said in a statement.
"One of these developments, even if tried separately, has put other organizations into bankruptcy," he continued. "This means that we have to separate ourselves from some talented and hard-working members of our team, we are grateful for all they have done and for their commitment to the SpaceX mission, this action is only undertaken because of the extraordinarily difficult challenges that await us and it would not be otherwise necessary. "
This move comes several weeks after SpaceX tried to raise up to $ 750 million from a loan, but decided to reduce this amount to $ 250 million due to less favorable terms than expected.
Money for new projects
Company officials repeatedly stated that SpaceX is profitable, thanks to a mix of revenues from commercial launch contracts, NASA development funds and US Air Force SpaceX launch awards launched the his Falcon 9 rocket 20 times in 201
However, SpaceX is also embarking on the expensive development of a satellite internet system, Starlink, as well as a new generation rocket, Super Heavy, and the spacecraft, the starship, designed to send men to Ma rs. These projects are both several years from providing a significant revenue stream.
SpaceX is undertaking these cuts as it launches in a crucial year, when it will probably perform the first launch of humans in orbit by a private company through NASA's commercial crew program, it distributes its first set of Starlink satellites and begins preliminary tests of his Starship vehicle.
A source in the aerospace industry has suggested that the size and timing of Friday's cuts may indicate a desire by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to reduce costs and cut some of its less performing employees. By becoming leaner, the company will have more funds to invest in its ambitious development projects.
Ironically, in recent years, the development of SpaceX Falcon's low-cost Falcon 9 has, in part, driven other launchers into the United States, including United Launch Alliance, as well as companies supported by the government in the whole world to cut costs and employees to compete for commercial launch contracts.