Elon Musk announces 10 per cent job cuts in Space X in 2019

Space X has announced its plans to lay off 10 per cent of its current workforce in plans to become a more ‘leaner’ company. As per a report in Tech Crunch the news comes as the company is now embarking on an ambitious project to develop and test an interplanetary spacecraft while simultaneously performing frequent orbital launches. 

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, SpaceX explained that the layoffs are in pursuit of becoming a “leaner company” and that they were only necessary due to “the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead.”

“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. This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX’s mission. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary”.

 

Space X had employed a workforce of 7000 in late 2017 as per COO Gwynne Shotwell. Which means atleast 700 of them are going to loose their jobs. 

The company has not yet made it clear as to which sectors will be most affected by this layoff.

Although layoffs of this scale has set some alarm bells ringing across the board. But Space X has insisted firmly that the idea is solvent and successful. 

Space X  has been building and actively improving its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles for years, with the former now more or less in a final state but the latter far from it. It has been researching and prototyping an interplanetary spacecraft, formerly known as the BFR and now Starship. It is building and testing a crewed capsule intended to bring astronauts to the International Space Station. And it is planning a 400-strong constellation of satellites to deliver high speed internet connectivity at a global scale.

So the most logical place to cut from would perhaps be the Falcon 9 development team; CEO Elon Musk indicated that large scale R&D on the platform was ending and being reallocated to the Falcon Heavy and Starship projects. Therefore there may well be designers and engineers who are more easy to part with than others. But this is merely speculation.

SpaceX’s financials and operations are too complicated to write off major layoffs as simply due to revenue shortfalls or overzealous hiring. 

 

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