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SpaceX Falcon 9 launch
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Formosat-5 satellite lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. This is the 15th successful landing of a Falcon 9, which successfully landed its first stage on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean as the second stage continued on and deployed the satellite. (Matt Hartman via AP)

SpaceX layoffs expected to hit 10 percent of staff

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HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) — SpaceX is laying off 10 percent of its roughly 6,000 workers, saying it needs to get leaner so it can succeed in enormous projects such as creating an interplanetary spacecraft.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the cuts were announced Friday in an email to employees of the Hawthorne, California-based company.

In a statement, Elon Musk's firm says it needs to trim costs in order to take on ambitious projects that would have bankrupted other organizations.

SpaceX has a healthy business launching government and commercial satellites into orbit — including a launch Friday from California — and delivering supplies to the International Space Station.

But SpaceX estimates it will need billions to build a spaceship capable of sending astronauts to Mars and a satellite system for global internet service.

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