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

SpaceX's prototype starship is being called

MIGUEL ROBERTSSpaceX's prototype starship is being called"test hopper

In a major shakeup at Elon Musk's aerospace company, SpaceX announced Friday that it will cut 10 percent of its employees.

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

Word of the reductions came just hours after SpaceX executed its first Falcon 9 rocket launch of the year, putting 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into low Earth orbit, and a day after Musk hailed the assembly of a subscale test prototype for SpaceX's interplanetary Starship spacecraft.

We most recently saw the Starship in more than one piece, apparently in the midst of being assembled.

Hawthorne-based SpaceX is offering a minimum of eight weeks' pay and other benefits to those affected, according to an email sent on Friday to employees by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.

Even with SpaceX's ramp-up of satellite launches - 21 in 2018, up from 18 the year before - it has occasionally cut its workforce.

Elon Musk showed how SpaceX Starship test rocket looks like.

As reported by a billionaire, the first flight to Mars with a crew and hundreds of passengers would be possible in the middle of the 2020-ies, but on the condition that the development vehicle will be a success.

This two-stage vehicle - composed of a Booster and a Ship - is created to eventually replace the company's Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and the Dragon spacecraft. It is assumed that the system can be used repeatedly. The company also reportedly plans to replace their current Falcon and Falcon Heavy rockets with this starship model in the near future, making the success of the hopper extremely important to the company.

Another $10 billion project called Starlink would create a constellation of satellites to provide affordable broadband internet service. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review.

SpaceX shared new details about the 387ft rocket in September, saying it hopes to begin unmanned launch tests of the spacecraft in late 2019. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, he soon realized his true calling was communicating to others about space.

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