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SpaceX to Lay off 10% of Workers Due to ‘Difficult Challenges’

But SpaceX's new products are expected to cost billions of dollars to develop

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SpaceX to lay off 10% of workers due to 'difficult challenges'. VOA

As SpaceX attempts to get two expensive projects off the ground, the US-based private spaceflight company said it would lay off 10 per cent of its roughly 6,000-person workforce.
“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 Elon Musk-led company was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday by CNN.

“This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary,” the statement added.

SpaceX has a booming business but its plans are very ambitious. While it has a contract with NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), the company is now planning to start flying astronauts to the ISS for NASA sometime this year.

In September, Musk estimated SpaceX would spend between $2 billion and $10 billion developing an ultra-powerful spaceship and rocket system, recently renamed Starship and Super Heavy.

SpaceX also plans to use the technology to fly tourists to space and, potentially, one day send humans to Mars, CNN said.

Elon Musk, spacex
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. IANS

Musk on Thursday offered a glimpse of the company’s Starship test flight rocket, dubbed the “Hopper”.

SpaceX will conduct a “hopper test” of its Mars spaceship prototype as early as next month, acording to Musk, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The company is also developing a constellation of satellites that could one day beam high-speed Internet down to the Earth.

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SpaceX was recently valued at $30.5 billion after initiating a $500 million equity sale in December. The company also took on about $250 million in debt last year in its first loan sale, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But SpaceX’s new products are expected to cost billions of dollars to develop. (IANS)

Next Story

SpaceX Targets Late June for Falcon Heavy Launch: Report

NASA will launch some pretty cool technologies in this mission, which will support its future exploration plans by helping improve future spacecraft design and performance, said the release

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket, with a payload of 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network, lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 during a time exposure at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 23, 2019. VOA

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will take to the skies for the third time to launch the US Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission in late June, according to a release of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Several exciting, one-of-a-kind NASA technology and science payloads are among the two dozen spacecraft aboard.

The 27 engines of the Falcon Heavy rocket generate thrust at liftoff equal to that of approximately 18 airplanes, and it can lift over 140,000 pounds (about 63,503 kg), according to the JPL, Xinhua news agency reported.

Managed by the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, STP-2 is the first government-contracted Falcon Heavy launch.

spaceX
A SpaceX rocket has launched 60 satellites into orbit, which will be used to provide internet service from space. VOA

It will reuse the two side boosters recovered after the April flight. SpaceX described it as one of the most challenging launches in the company’s history.

NASA will launch some pretty cool technologies in this mission, which will support its future exploration plans by helping improve future spacecraft design and performance, said the release.

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According to the JPL, the technologies include the Deep Space Atomic Clock, a navigation payload hosted on the General Atomics Orbital Test Bed satellite; the Green Propellant Infusion Mission, a small satellite that will demonstrate a non-toxic fuel and propulsion system; Space Environment Testbeds, instruments hosted on the US Air Force Research Lab’s Demonstration and Science Experiments spacecraft to study how to protect satellites in space; and the Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment, twin CubeSats to study the disruptions of signals that pass through Earth’s upper atmosphere. (IANS)