Bigelow Aerospace Lays off Employees

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Bigelow Aerospace has laid off an unknown number of employees:

In a Jan. 6 statement provided to SpaceNews, Bigelow Aerospace President Robert Bigelow said that the company determined that many areas of the company were “overstaffed” and decided to lay off employees to reduce the company’s expenses.

“In December of 2015, we analyzed the amount of staff that we employed throughout all of our departments at Bigelow Aerospace, and discovered that numerous departments were overstaffed,” Bigelow said in the statement. “Regrettably, we had to make the choice that, beginning with the New Year, we need to follow standard business protocols, which sensibly requires an attempt to achieve balance in how much staff is necessary.”

The company did not disclose how many people were laid off. Industry sources estimated that between 30 and 50 people lost their jobs, and that the company had more than 150 employees at the time of the layoffs.

The layoffs come after a hiring spree for the company. For much of 2015, Bigelow Aerospace advertised that it was seeking to fill more than 100 positions, both at its North Las Vegas, Nevada, headquarters and a new propulsion division the company opened in the fall in Huntsville, Alabama.

Bigelow’s BEAM module is set for launch later this year to be attached to the International Space Station. The experimental inflatable module will be tested on the orbiting laboratory.