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As SpaceX attempts to get two expensive projects off the ground, the US-based private spaceflight company said it would lay off 10 per cent of its roughly 6,000-person workforce.

The statement did not disclose the size of the layoffs, but a company source, speaking on background, estimated the cuts at 10 percent of the workforce. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

Founded by Musk, SpaceX makes most of its money from multibillion dollar contracts with NASA and satellite launches. "Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations", a spokesman said in an email. "We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission", the company continued. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Reveals Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Will Fly Around the Moon on the Big Falcon Rocket.

He added that the trim was "only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead".

The company broke its own record with 21 launches in 2018. The project is expected to cost the company between $2 billion and $10 billion. A crewed Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to send United States astronauts to the ISS later this year.

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The dollar amount represents the total Kelly stood to earn from her three-year contract, had she stuck around for all of it. NBC hired Kelly in January 2017, beating out several networks that had expressed interest in the FOX News star.

The driving force is to meet customer launch needs while also advancing the goals of global broadband connectivity with the Starlink communications satellites under development, and human spaceflight.

SpaceX is getting ready to embark on its most historic achievement yet, as it prepares to test launch its astronaut spacecraft, the Crew Dragon, at Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A.

Musk has estimated it will cost up to United States $10 billion to develop a spaceship that could send humans to Mars.

The so-called test hopper will not enter orbit when it launches in the coming weeks but is instead meant to inform how SpaceX works toward a full-scale prototype of the Mars Starship.

SpaceX's Starlink program is competing with OneWeb and Canada's Telesat to be the first to market with a new satellite-based internet service.