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Tethers Unlimited lays off 20 percent of staff

Rob Hoyt
Robert Hoyt is the co-founder and CEO of Tethers Unlimited Inc. (TUI via YouTube)

Bothell, Wash.-based Tethers Unlimited Inc. has laid off about 20 percent of its workforce due to a cash crunch brought on by the partial government shutdown, the company’s CEO says.

Tethers Unlimited snared an impressive lineup of contracts from NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, for work on innovative spacecraft thruster systems and space-based fabrication systems. But it can’t get paid for the work it’s done over the past three months, CEO Rob Hoyt told GeekWire today in an email.

Hoyt expects commercial contracts to keep the company afloat during the shutdown, which has now gone into its fourth week. But he said the decision to cut back on staff was “really painful and disheartening.” In his email, he decried what he called a game of “Russian roulette with the American economy.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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