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Fri, Nov 10, 2023

Virgin Galactic Laying off 185 People

Almost 20% of the Workforce On the Outs Heading into 2024

Virgin Galactic will lay off 18% of its employee base, as the space tourism operator looks to save money and hone its focus on a newer, more profitable line of spacecraft.

Along with the layoffs, the company is pausing all launches until at least midway through next year, hoping to put its resources towards a pair of new spacecraft. Once the layoffs are complete, Virgin Galactic will have only 840 full-time employees, coming away about $5 million lighter after severance and termination costs. Exact cuts remain a mystery but execs gave the impression that most of the layoffs will be personnel associated with the VSS Unity platform, which typically launches out of its home base in New Mexico. The upcoming Delta-class spacecraft will incorporate lessons from Unity, allowing a higher operational tempo 8 times greater, with all its accompanying profitability. If projections are right, that will bring in an additional $7.2 million a month at full tilt. The first flights should take place in 2025. 

In typical make-or-break, sink-or-swim CEO fashion, Michael Colglazier described the layoffs as a tough decision to make, but one vital to keeping the operation afloat. “By taking these actions now, we ensure Virgin Galactic continues to have access to the resources needed to reach positive cash flow and to deliver on our mission bringing the wonder of space to our existing customer base and the generations of customers who will follow.”



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