SpaceX

SpaceX is laying off 10% of its workforce

Rocket launching
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launches its 16th resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on December 5, 2018 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

SpaceX is laying off more than 600 people — about 10% of its workforce, the Los Angeles Times first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The layoffs come soon after SpaceX moved to raise $500 million at a reported $30.5 billion valuation in order to fund its ambitious plan for satellite-based broadband services. The company has received FCC approval for launching more than 4,000 satellites into low-Earth orbit as part of this constellation, which it calls Starlink.

Trump shutdown hits science with stalled research, missed conferences

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule and walkway rests atop a Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule and walkway rests atop a Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Jan. 3, 2018. Credit: SpaceX.

The partial government shutdown, now in its third week, is taking an increasingly heavy toll on some of the nation's premier science agencies and those that depend on them for their work, funding and in some cases, safety.

Why it matters: The U.S. faces increasing pressure from abroad, particularly from China, to maintain its leadership edge in innovation. The shutdown is hitting numerous science-focused agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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