Elon Musk's SpaceX plans to lay off 10 percent of workforce

Elon Musk shares prototype of SpaceX Starship

LIFTOFF Elon Musk has shared

Founded by Elon Musk, the brains behind electric auto group Tesla, the redundancies could involve 10% of the more than 6,000 employees at SpaceX, according to a source familiar with the decision.

"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission".

It added that the trim down was "only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead".

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"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, " the company statement said.

The email said laid-off employees will be offered at least eight weeks' pay and other benefits, along with help with finding new jobs, the Times said. 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". However, the launch and satellite initiatives the company is pursuing will each require several billion dollars to complete. In December, it launched its first USA national security space mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SpaceX, which has developed reusable rockets and is working on Starship for a future anticipated Mars mission, gets most of its income from launching payloads for both private companies and the USA government.

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SpaceX has also embarked on a mission to beam internet services to Earth around the globe through a network of satellites dubbed Starlink, the first set of which will be deployed this year.

In November, the company won authorisation from United States officials to put almost 12,000 satellites into orbit.

At the end of past year, SpaceX valuation rose to $30.5 billion after initiating a $500 million equity sale, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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