Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX Starship Test Vehicle

SpaceX's prototype starship is being called

The Los Angeles Times was first to break the news.

On Friday morning, SpaceX marked its first mission of 2019 with the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California. However it also employs workers at its facilities in Brevard County and in Texas.

The email said laid-off employees will be offered at least eight weeks' pay and other benefits, along with help with finding new jobs, the Times said.

The company cited the need to be leaner to keep delivering for customers and develop spacecraft and space-based internet. "Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organisations", a spokesman said in an email, reported Reuters. "This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team".

"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission", the company continued.

About 600 of the firm's 6,000-strong workforce are being laid off, with the company blaming "extraordinary hard challenges ahead" for its decision. A crewed Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to send United States astronauts to the ISS later this year.

This comes after SpaceX saw a record-breaking 2018 with 21 orbital launches.

More news: Kanye West Pulled Out of Headlining Coachella Due to Absurd Dome Demand

Elon Musk's Space X company is financially healthy and was recently valued at almost USA $30 billion.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company planned to raise $500 million in funding, pushing its value to $30.5 billion.

In addition to the deployment of some of its first Starlink satellites following a demo launch past year, the company is also readying for hop tests of its Starship test-flight rocket.

SpaceX has a booming business conducting uncrewed resupply trips to the International Space Station through contracts with NASA.

Straship rocket is a fully reusable vehicle created to take humans and supplies to Mars and also to dramatically cut travel time within Earth, according to an IANS report.

"Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the SpaceX Texas launch site", Musk wrote in a tweet.

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