SpaceX launched its first Falcon 9 rocket of the year on 11 January 2019 but simultaneously laid off 10% of its workforce.
SpaceX has already launched seven sets of satellites in a series of 75 by 2018. And now, it successfully launched its eighth and final set of satellites.
This eighth set of satellites has been launched for the Iridium-8 mission from California, United States.
This Falcon 9 rocket with 9 engines made its successful landing on the “Just Read the Instructions” drone-ship stationed in the Pacific Ocean. It was the first stage of the rocket’s landing throughout its journey.
This project is set to provide upgraded telecommunication services coverage from low Earth orbit. This new upgrade is one of its kind because it is designed to provide L-band (1-2GHz) broadband solutions. It can also provide global aircraft surveillance and tracking.
SpaceX also announced a lay off of up to 10% of its entire workforce on the same day as of the launch of Falcon 9. The company says that the lay off is set to protect it from future threats or challenges.
After the layoff, the company with around 6700 employees would be left with a workforce of only 6000 individuals. As per the details mentioned by the company’s President, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX had offered at least eight weeks of pay and other benefits to those who were being laid off.
“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.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of establishing mankind on the planet Mars.
SpaceX has developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit.
Falcon 9 flight 20 (also known as Orbcomm OG2 M2) was a Falcon 9 space launch that occurred in December 2015. It was the first time that the first stage of an orbital rocket made a successful return with a vertical landing.
While the company has certainly pushed the state-of-the-art forward in the area of space technology, the simultaneous layoffs raise questions on its financial viability.