SpaceX, the private company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, is firing around 10% of its workforce in what has been called a reduction needed to position the company for an unknown future.
The company will have approximately 6,000 employees remaining after the redundancies, which will take place at company level.
"To continue to provide our customers with the ability to develop interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company," the company said in a statement. "One of these developments, even if tried separately, has bankrupted other organizations, which means we have to separate with some talented and hard-working members of our team."
The company said layoffs were a strategic step in anticipation of the "extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead of us."
SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., Aims to revolutionize space travel and hopes to someday send humans to colonize Mars. While the company claims to be financially strong, the profitability of its vision has been difficult to measure.
The Wall Street Journal examined internal financial documents and reported in 2017 that SpaceX was vulnerable to arrest jokes, as a failed rocket launch in 2015 that contributed to an annual loss of a quarter of a billion and a decline of 6%.
In 2016, another SpaceX rocket exploded, destroying a $ 200 million communication satellite on board, and Mr. Musk was also criticized for moving quickly into the complex space travel industry.
The company has ambitious plans for this year, including the deployment of its first set of Starlink satellites, which promise space internet. The test launch of Crew Dragon, a capsule built to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, was scheduled for this month, but was rejected, NASA said this week. If successful, the company could plan a test launch with a crew on board for the end of the year.