NASA's JPL announces mass layoffs

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will lay off about 8% of its workforce on Wednesday. 

That's according to a memo published on JPL's website, which revealed the mass layoffs are in response to a reduced budget from NASA and lack of a new spending plan from Congress for the new fiscal year.

About 530 employees will be affected across JPL, including those in technical and support areas, the memo said. 

"After exhausting all other measures to adjust to a lower budget from NASA, and in the absence of an FY24 appropriation from Congress, we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce the JPL workforce through layoffs," Director Laurie Leshin wrote in the memo.

Exterior view of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on February 28, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images)

"These cuts are among the most challenging that we have had to make even as we have sought to reduce our spending in recent months," Leshin wrote.

The layoffs come just one month after JPL laid off 100 contractors, many of whom had been working on Mars Sample Return (MSR), one of NASA's major mission programs.

Leshin said most employees will work from home on Wednesday "so everyone can be in a safe, comfortable environment on a stressful day."