Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket launching company is cutting 10% of its workforce in a bid to become a leaner operation, according to multiple published reports Friday.
The privately held company founded by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk, said in a statement sent to Ars Technica and other news outlets that “to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company.”
The Los Angeles Times reported the company is laying off more than 600 people, while other outlets indicated the company is targeting 10% of its staff. SpaceX employs more than 6,000 people, according to its web site.
SpaceX did not respond to a request for separate confirmation of the layoffs.
In addition to providing cargo services to the international space station, SpaceX is developing the capacity to launch humans into orbit. The United States has had no means of launching crews into space since the termination of the space shuttle program.
SpaceX is also pursuing development of a space-based internet service involving hundreds of low-orbit satellites as well as launch vehicles capable of sending missions to Mars.
“Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations. This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team,” according to the company statement.