Sierra Area lays off a whole bunch in push towards Dream Chaser launch

Sierra Area lays off a whole bunch in push towards Dream Chaser launch

A rendering on a Dream Chaser spaceplane in orbit.

Sierra Area

Sierra Area, one of many sector’s most respected personal firms, laid off a number of hundred workers and contractors this week, CNBC has realized.

A Sierra Area spokesperson confirmed the corporate let go of about 165 workers on Thursday, however declined to specify the variety of contractors affected. Former Sierra Area workers informed CNBC that the layoffs included a big variety of contractors, with the cuts together with a whole bunch of personnel in complete.

The laid-off workers acquired two weeks of paid non-working discover, plus 4 weeks of severance pay and well being care advantages by means of the tip of the yr. Sierra Area had about 2,000 workers earlier than lowering its workforce, the corporate spokesperson stated.

The Colorado-based firm, which was just lately valued at greater than $5 billion, is pushing exhausting to fly the long-awaited first mission of its Dream Chaser spaceplane.

Sierra Area this week shipped the primary Dream Chaser, named Tenacity, for pre-launch testing at NASA’s Armstrong facility in Ohio. The layoffs started quickly after, the Sierra Area spokesperson stated, noting the corporate carried out a surge in hiring this yr to finish work on the Tenacity spacecraft.

With Tenacity shipped, Sierra Area’s spokesperson stated the corporate is realigning to give attention to the operations part of Dream Chaser’s first mission, in addition to on labeled nationwide safety work.

The latter a part of Sierra Area’s realignment consists of including practically 150 workers with safety clearances from Sierra Nevada Corp., the aerospace and protection contractor owned by Fatih and Eren Ozmen, which the house firm was spun out of two years in the past. Sierra Area’s spokesperson stated the corporate is making a nationwide safety house staff to work on a number of labeled contracts.

Sierra Area additionally just lately misplaced a pair of senior executives earlier than the layoffs: COO Jeff Babione, who retired, and Senior Vice President of Area Locations Neeraj Gupta. The corporate stated the departures had been unrelated.

Two months in the past, Sierra raised slightly below $300 million at a $5.3 billion valuation.

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Dream Chaser has been in growth for years with a aim to ship cargo and finally crew to low Earth orbit as a reusable automobile. It resembles a miniaturized NASA Area Shuttle in look and is constructed to launch atop a standard rocket and land on a runway like an airplane.

The primary Dream Chaser launch was beforehand scheduled for late final yr, however delays within the growth of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket pushed again that timeline. Dream Chaser is deliberate to launch on ULA’s second Vulcan mission, with the primary Vulcan launch focusing on December.

Dream Chaser has gained NASA contracts to fly seven cargo missions to and from the Worldwide Area Station.

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