Elon Musk reveals assembled Starship test rocket

14 January, 2019, 17:15 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the SpaceX Texas launch site

Formerly known as the BFR, Musk announced on Thursday that the spaceflight company's test version of the Starship, dubbed the "hopper", has just finished being assembled at SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica Village, Texas.

The decision to trim down was "only due to the extraordinarily hard challenges ahead", SpaceX pointed out. "Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations", SpaceX said in a statement.

It is believed the layoffs would affect around 600 employees, who would receive a minimum of eight weeks' pay and other benefits, while the company also promised to assist with career coaching and job searching.

In June, 2018, Elon Musk fired at least seven people in the senior management team leading a SpaceX satellite launch project, Reuters reported in November.

SpaceX has a number of major launches coming this year, too, including two of its mega Falcon Heavy rockets and the launch of its own satellites, Starlink, which are meant to provide high-speed broadband Internet across the globe. The first unpiloted test flight of the vehicle is planned as early as February, with the piloted mission planned for sometime in the summer. However, it has several expensive projects in the works - including a launch from California on Friday.

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SpaceX plans to use the technology to fly tourists to space and, potentially, one day send humans to Mars.

Back in September, Musk revealed the new design of the Big Falcon Rocket, now simply called Starship, and confessed he wanted to emulate the design of the comic book rocket.

However, there are more than 400 open positions in various fields at different SpaceX facilities, judging by the company's.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, SpaceX was reported as raising $500 million (£389.14 million) to raise its total worth to $30.5 billion at the end of the year. SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said during a TED Talk a year ago that she expects the satellite constellation to cost about $10 billion to deploy.

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