Elon Musk reportedly says SpaceX faces ‘risk of bankruptcy’ due to lack of Starship engine progress


Elon Musk.Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • Elon Musk told SpaceX employees that a lack of engine progress created a “risk of bankruptcy”.

  • He expressed concern about Raptor engines in a company-wide memo on Friday, CNBC reported.

  • Musk said trolling motor production was holding back Starship and Starlink’s progress.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reportedly said in a memo that his Raptor program was in “crisis” and suggested it posed a major threat to the space company.

Musk said in the memo – sent Friday and obtained by CNBC’s Michael Sheetz – that he was upset with the lack of progress on the Raptor engines that power his Spatialship rocket. Space Explored first reported the news.

“We face a real risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year,” Musk said, according to CNBC’s report.

SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment from Insider, but Musk commented on Twitter. He said he was working on solve the problem.

Musk has faced the possibility of bankruptcy in the past. The CEO said that another business venture, Tesla, was only a month away from bankruptcy when it was increasing production of the Model 3 from 2017 to 2019.

While SpaceX is considered the second most valuable private company around the world, the success of its production of Raptor engines represents a crucial element of its future, including Musk’s plan to populate Mars. SpaceX expands his Starship rocket to launch people and cargo to Mars and the moon, and Starship will need 39 Raptor engines to propel it for orbital launches, CNBC reported. The company has tested the rocket only on short flights at its plant in Texas.

Musk said in November that SpaceX planned to launch Starship into orbit in January or February, but production of Raptor engines appears to be lagging behind.

“The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it looked a few weeks ago,” Musk reportedly said in the memo, adding, “We need everyone on deck to recover from what happened. is, frankly, a disaster.”

The CEO reportedly said he had planned to take a break but production issues forced him to work over the bank holiday weekend.

SpaceX’s development of its Starlink satellite internet program is also dependent on Starship’s progress. The space company has launched about 1,700 satellites using its Falcon 9 rockets, but Musk reportedly said in the memo that the latest version of Starlink would require Starship’s extra mass and power.

Musk’s email came shortly after Will Heltsley, SpaceX’s vice president of propulsion, left the company. Last week, CNBC reported that Heltsley had been dropped from the Raptor program due to a lack of progress. Earlier in November, Musk tweeted that the Raptor engines needed “a complete design overhaul”.

Read more about Musk’s email on CNBC.

Do you work for SpaceX? Contact this reporter from an unprofessional email at [email protected].

Read the original article at Business Intern


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