SpaceX plans workforce reduction, some local employees sent home

(CNN VAN photo/file)
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MCGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) The private spaceflight company SpaceX, which tests its rocket motors at its facility in McGregor west of Waco, is reducing its workforce companywide by about 10 percent as part of what a source with knowledge of the situation describes as a strategic realignment.

Some employees of the McGregor test facility were instructed to go home at 4 p.m. Friday and not to return, KWTX has learned.

The facility had a workforce of about 500 in 2018.

The company issued a statement Friday evening in which it said, “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.

“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,” the company said.

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

The company remains strong financially, the source said, and in 2019 plans to launch two missions using its Falcon Heavy rocket, deploy its first set of Starlink satellites, and to begin testing a powerful, reusable launch system called Starship, which the source says will be ultimately be capable of taking humans to Mars.