SpaceX to lay off 10 percent of its workforce

SpaceX to lay off 10 percent of its workforce
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Space exploration company SpaceX announced Friday that it will lay off more than 10 percent of its staff as it pursues ambitious projects.

The staff cuts were announced in an email to all employees sent by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, according to The Los Angeles Times.

“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 said in a statement.

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SpaceX, which was founded by Elon Musk in 2002, currently has a workforce of roughly 6,000 employees.

"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission," the company said. "This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary."

SpaceX has a multi-billion dollar deal with NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and another $2.6 billion contract to develop a small capsule that will more efficiently send astronauts to the station.

The company earns a bulk of its money by conducting commercial launches, earning tens of millions for each one.

It was recently valued at more than $30 billion but is looking into new, expensive projects moving forward.

Musk estimated a project to build a new spaceship and rocket system could cost as much as $10 billion.

Shotwell noted that the company has been profitable for years.