Musk’s SpaceX planning to cut 10% of its workforce

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The decision to trim down was "only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead", SpaceX pointed out. SpaceX has since confirmed the news, saying in a statement that it must get "leaner" in order to achieve its goals - ones that, it said, "have bankrupted other organizations".

But as the Los Angeles Times noted Friday, cuts have been intermittent at SpaceX.

"This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team", the statement continued.

Founded by Musk, SpaceX makes most of its money from multibillion-dollar contracts with NASA and satellite launches.

No astronauts will be on board for this demonstration mission, but this is the first launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon, a spacecraft that will soon transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

Last summer, the company fired some senior managers at the company's Redmond, Washington, office, because of disagreements over the pacing of the development and testing of its Starlink satellite programme.

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Musk posted pictures on Twitter late Thursday of the Starship Hopper prototype, which awaits its first flight test in Texas in the coming weeks.

Elon Musk has revealed images of his fully-assembled 120-foot tall Starship hopper test rocket.

The company is also heavily investing in several different research and development programs.

In a statement late January 11, the company confirmed that SpaceX is laying off a portion of its workforce in the first large-scale reduction of its workforce since the company was founded in 2002.

The Wall Street Journal reported back in December that the company planned to raise $500 million, taking its valuation to $30.5 billion. As the Times noted, Shotwell told CNBC last year that SpaceX has had "many years" of profitability.

Last month, SpaceX launched its first United States national security space mission, when a SpaceX rocket carrying a USA military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral. SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said during a TED Talk previous year that she expects the satellite constellation to cost about $10 billion to deploy.

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