Spacetech venture SpaceX said Friday that it plans to lay off 10 percent of its workforce — an eyebrow-raising move for a company emerging from a record-shattering year./READ MORE// Blue Origin Just Unveiled an Enormous Engine for Manned Missions
“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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement that called the layoffs a “strategic realignment.”
Space News reports that the layoffs are the first major workforce reduction since the company was founded in 2002, though it did fire a number of workers in 2014. This time, SpaceX is blaming the layoffs on an ambitious slate of projects.
“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 said, in reference to its Starship, Super Heavy, and Starlink constellation projects. “Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations.”
The move comes just a day after CEO Elon Musk showed off the company’s recently-assembled Starship space vehicle, and a month before the company plans to test its commercial crew launch vehicle in preparation for launching humans to the International Space Station.
But so far, the enigmatic CEO has yet to tweet about the layoffs.