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SpaceX plans to lay off 10% of its workforce

CNBC logo CNBC 5 days ago Christine Wang
Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide on September 29, 2017.© Provided by CNBC LLC Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide on September 29, 2017.

SpaceX is planning on trimming its workforce, a company spokeswoman told CNBC.

The company said it sees "extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead" and therefore needs to "become a leaner company." 

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The Los Angeles Times first reported that the Hawthorne, California-based company would be laying off about 10 per cent of its staff. According to its website, SpaceX employes more than 6,000 people.

Video: SpaceX Launches First Mission of 2019 (Bloomberg)

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Read SpaceX's full statement below:

"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. 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."

SpaceX was named the No. 1 company on the 2018 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, announced in May. At the time, SpaceX told CNBC its valuation was about $28 billion.

Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in Hawthorne, California, U.S., August 27, 2017.  REUTERS/Mike Blake© Reuters Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in Hawthorne, California, U.S., August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Earlier this month, SpaceX raised $273 million through preferred stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In December, The Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX was raising $500 million in funding, placing its valuation at $30.5 billion. Founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX was reportedly planning to use the new cash to build its massive satellite internet project, called Starlink. 

Gallery: Where, exactly, is the edge of space? It depends on who you ask. (National Geographic)

a group of clouds in the sky: After three failed launches, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk scraped together enough funding to launch a fourth version of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket. On September 28, 2008, Musk's gamble paid off when the Falcon 1 became the first privately developed liquid-fuel rocket to orbit Earth. The rocket is seen here lifting off from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands.

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