Elon Musk’s SpaceX Sets Layoffs

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 …

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.

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Elon Musk has ‘secret’ school at SpaceX

Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has been running a small private school out of the SpaceX headquarters in California, intended for …

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Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has been running a small private school out of the SpaceX headquarters in California, intended for students with “extraordinary academic potential.”

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According to a report from ARS Technica, Musk has been running the nonprofit school, known as Ad Astra, in Hawthorne, California, since 2014 for his own five sons, along with the children of select SpaceX employees and others from the area.

The school, which has largely remained out of the public view, is intended to “exceed traditional school metrics on all relevant subject matter through unique project-based learning experiences,” according to a document filed with the Internal Revenue Service, first uncovered by ARS Technica. It serves children between the ages of seven and 14.

In addition to project-based learning, Ad Astra focuses on imbuing attendees with a “strong sense of justice” and the “critical thinking skills necessary to make a difference.”

While the form states that the student body will expand slowly, it will probably never exceed 50 students.

ARS Technica said 400 families applied last year.

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As of 2015 there were only had two individuals employed at the school, it reported to the IRS. Its total revenue was $475,000.

The school has a website, though it doesn’t provide any detail for those who don’t possess a parent login. A contact provided on the website did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.

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Elon Musk is running a private school at SpaceX’s HQ

That’s according to a report from Ars Technica. The publication says the school’s name is Ad Astra, and it has been operating since around 2014.

That’s according to a report from Ars Technica. The publication says the school’s name is Ad Astra, and it has been operating since around 2014. Pupils at the private school include Musk’s sons, some children of SpaceX employees, and some other children in the L.A. area. Currently, the school has around 50 students between the ages of 7 and 14. Students work in groups on topics of their choosing–and they can opt out of topics they don’t like. There is no grading either. As you would expect because the school was founded by Musk, there’s a heavy emphasis on math, science, engineering, and ethics.

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Elon Musk is reportedly running an exclusive private school out of SpaceX’s headquarters

Elon Musk has been running a secretive, highly selective private school out of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, Ars Technica reported …

Elon Musk has been running a secretive, highly selective private school out of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, Ars Technica reported.

The experimental non-profit school, Ad Astra, has been educating Musk’s sons along with children of SpaceX employees and a few others in the area since about 2014.

Musk originally founded Ad Astra to provide his five sons with schooling that exceeds “traditional school metrics on all relevant subject matter through unique project-based learning experiences,” according to a document filed with the Internal Revenue Service and originally uncovered by Ars Technica.

“I just didn’t see that the regular schools were doing the things that I thought should be done,” Musk told a Chinese TV station in a 2015 interview. “So I thought, well let’s see what we can do. Maybe creating a school will be better.”

According to Ars Technica, kids between the ages of seven and 14 work together in teams on topics of their choosing, with few formal assignments and no grading. Students can opt out of subjects they don’t like. There is heavy emphasis on math, science, engineering and ethics — at the expense of instruction in languages, music and sports, Ars Technica reported. And everything from tuition to the Mac laptops used by children is funded by Musk.

Ars Technica reported that almost 400 families applied in 2017, though the school only has about 50 students and a dozen open spots at any given time.

It’s too early to tell how effective the unconventional curriculum will prove to be. As his children age, Musk has continued adding grade levels to accommodate them, so no students have graduated yet from Ad Astra.

Read more about Musk’s secret school from Ars Technica.

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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through June 16)

Elon Musk Chosen to Build, Operate O’Hare Express Dubbed ‘Tesla in a Tunnel’ Fran Spielman | Chicago Sun Times “The Boring Company’s goal is …

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

This Wild, AI-Generated Film Is the Next Step in ‘Whole-Movie Puppetry’

Sam Machkovech | Ars Technica

“Their plan required Benjamin to do the following: cobble together footage from public domain films, face-swap the duo’s database of human actors into that footage, insert spoken voices to read Benjamin’s script, and score the film. This was all on top of writing the screenplay, a process that has been refined since Benjamin’s last 2016 splash.”

CRYPTOCURRENCY

Bitcoin’s Price Was Artificially Inflated Last Year, Researchers Say

Nathaniel Popper | The New York Times

“A concentrated campaign of price manipulation may have accounted for at least half of the increase in the price of Bitcoin and other big cryptocurrencies last year, according to a paper released on Wednesday by an academic with a history of spotting fraud in financial markets.”

DIGITAL MEDIA

Deep Fake Videos Are Getting Impossibly Good

George Dvorsky | Gizmodo

“Fake news sucks, and as those eerily accurate videos of a lip-synced Barack Obama demonstrated last year, it’s soon going to get a hell of a lot worse. As a newly revealed video-manipulation system shows, super-realistic fake videos are improving faster than some of us thought possible.”

REGULATION

Rest Easy Cryptocurrency Fans: Ether and Bitcoin Aren’t Securities

Louise Matsakis | Wired

“Taken together, the two sets of remarks provide the clearest understanding of how the regulatory agency views the cryptocurrency market. In essence, when a cryptocurrency becomes sufficiently decentralized, as the widely popular bitcoin and ether have, the agency no longer views it as a security.”

ROBOTICS

The Menace and Promise of Autonomous Vehicles

Jacob Silverman | Longreads

“While computers are, of course, prone to make mistakes—and vulnerable to hacking—the driverless future, we are told, will feature far less danger than the auto landscape to which we’ve been accustomed. To get there, though, more people are going to die.”

TRANSPORTATION

Elon Musk Chosen to Build, Operate O’Hare Express Dubbed ‘Tesla in a Tunnel’

Fran Spielman | Chicago Sun Times

“The Boring Company’s goal is a one-way fare in the $20-to-$25-range, maybe less. That’s half the cost of a cab or ride-share. And while it can take about 40 minutes to ride the Blue Line from the Clark/Lake station to O’Hare, the Tesla-like ‘electric skate vehicles’ would travel at speeds that could reach 150 mph—though slower along curves—to get you there in 12 minutes.”

SOCIETY

Gone But Not Deleted

Luke O’Neil | Boston Magazine

“Our devices are where we carry out the business of living our lives and are increasingly our primary means of communicating with the people in them. Should they also be where we lug around our memories of the deceased? More to the point, do the digital ghosts the dead leave behind make it harder to let them go at all?”

Image Credit: Yuliya Evstratenko / Shutterstock.com

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