Hawthorne-based SpaceX Friday successfully launched a group of satellites into orbit, but it ended the day with news that the company will be laying off about 10 percent of its workforce.
“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,” according to a statement by the company to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
According to the paper, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk sent an email to its employees Friday saying it was offering at least eight weeks’ pay and other benefits to affected employees, along with career coaching and resume assistance.
The company, which carried out a record 21 satellite launches last year, has roughly 6,000 employees. Next month, the company will conduct a test launch of its “Crew Dragon” capsule designed to take astronauts to the International Space Station.
On Friday morning, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California, carrying 10 Iridium NEXT communications satellites, part of a 75-satellite Iridium array. The company also successfully landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 on a barge in the Pacific Ocean so it can be reused in future missions.