Elon Musk and the crew over at SpaceX have announced that the company will be shedding about 10% of its workforce, which currently totals over 6,000 employees. SpaceX said that it was going to “part ways” with some workers noting that it had “extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead.” The cuts came despite a successful 2018 for the company.
A SpaceX spokesman said in an email Reuters obtained, “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. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations.” SpaceX was granted FCC approval last February to put satellites in orbit to provide broadband internet access. Musk has been tough with the team working on the Starlink satellites that will provide the internet access from space. Reuters reports that Musk fired at least seven people in senior management positions over disagreements on the pace of the team developing those satellites.
SpaceX has grand visions for the future and noting that it faces challenges is a massive understatement. SpaceX has announced the Big Falcon Rocket or BFR that is capable of flying to the moon and beyond. Musk has already booked the first passenger for the BFR, a man named Yasaku Maezawa. SpaceX’s most notable project from last year wasn’t the satellite launches or government contracts it fulfilled. The most spectacular stunt that SpaceX pulled off was a successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket that pushed Musk’s own Tesla Roadster into space and sent it on its way to Mars.
SpaceX also has plans for a Falcon Super Heavy rocket in the future making a gargantuan 9 million pounds of thrust, much more than the 5.5 million pounds of thrust produced by Falcon Heavy rockets. There is no indication from SpaceX at this time of any compensation package for the workers who were let go.