Elon Musk sent an email to his SpaceX employees, which was later leaked. In it, he warned them that saying, SpaceX is at “genuine risk of bankruptcy,” and that “there is no way to sugarcoat this.”
Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, believing “a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not.”
But even a genius and visionary mind like, Elon Musk can panic when facing a possible threat to his dream. As CNBC confirmed, Musk sent an email to employees after Thanksgiving, stating “The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” adding, “We face the genuine risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.”
He proposed the employees come back to work and also to work on the weekends. “Unless you have critical family matters or cannot physically return to Hawthorne, we need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster.”
SpaceX founder’s ultimate dream to ship cargo and people to the moon and Mars can only be completed with the help of Starship, a next-generation rocket they have been developing.
As Wikipedia defines, “Raptor is a family of full-flow staged-combustion-cycle rocket engines.” A total sum of 39 Raptors is required to provide enough power to the Starship. Below is the email copy as posted on The Verge.
“Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago. As we have dug into the issues following exiting prior senior management, they have unfortunately turned out to be far more severe than was reported. There is no way to sugarcoat this.
I was going to take this weekend off, as my first weekend off in a long time, but instead, I will be on the Raptor line all night and through the weekend. Unless you have critical family matters or cannot physically return to Hawthorne, we need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster.
The consequences for SpaceX if we can’t get enough reliable Raptors made is that we then can’t fly Starship, which means we then can’t fly Starlink Satellite V2 (Falcon has neither the volume *nor* the mass to orbit needed for satellite V2). Satellite V1 by itself is financially weak, whereas V2 is strong.
In addition, we are spooling up terminal production to several million units per year, which will consume massive capital, assuming that satellite V2 will be on-orbit to handle the bandwidth demand. These terminals will be useless otherwise.
What it comes down to is that we face a genuine risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.