Elon Musk : SpaceX face a genuine risk of bankruptcy if we can't achieve a Starship flight rate next year.

In an email sent to SpaceX employees, Elon Musk addressed the ‘crisis’ of Starship Raptor engine production and said the company could face a ‘genuine risk of bankruptcy’

Source: businessinsider

The richest billionaire Elon Musk currently leads two top technological companies: an electric car company Tesla and a space mission company SpaceX. However, only few people know the pressures this CEO is under, hidden behind the flashy looks of stocks and money.

In an email sent to SpaceX employees, Elon Musk addressed the ‘crisis’ of Starship Raptor engine production and said the company could face a ‘genuine risk of bankruptcy’ if the company is unable to achieve a Starship flight rate of once every two weeks next year.

Source: Businessline

Musk revealed he had actually planned to take a break this Thanksgiving weekend, but these issues about Raptor engine changed that: "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"

Thereby, he also hopes that SpaceX staff can be on duty at the factory to solve the problem as soon as possible and should not leave if it is not a very special situation.

"Unless you have critical family matters or cannot physically return to Hawthorne, we will need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster"

SpaceX now needs to get enough reliable on Starship to fly Starlink Satellite V2 . These newer satellites are larger. SpaceX has been flying V1.5 satellites recently. SpaceX has been able to save money by being its own launch provider, however, Musk’s statement that “Satellite V1 by itself is financially weak” is important to note. Even on Starlink user terminals alone, the company was losing almost $1,000 per customer at first. The company has since brought costs down and launched a new user terminal, but it was operating at a major up-front loss in order to build a customer base for the satellite internet constellation in low-Earth-orbit. That’s not even considering the millions per Falcon 9 launch and the actual cost of the satellites in orbit, which Musk is saying will improve with V2 and Starship.

SpaceX is currently developing its next rocket, Starship, down in Boca Chica, Texas. Starship is the vehicle that Musk plans to take humanity to Mars with, and first, it will return humans to the surface of the Moon as the lunar lander for the Artemis program. But before Starship can carry humans anywhere, SpaceX will need to resolve its engine production issues.

The company is having trouble with the production of its Raptor engine – a full-flow staged combustion Methane engine – for the Starship vehicle. Not long ago, Will Heltsley, SpaceX's former senior vice president of propulsion, left the Raptor production team due to lack of progress. In addition, former SpaceX vice president of mission and launch operation Lee Rosen and senior director of mission and launch operations Rick Lim have left the company. Raptor engine production is now being led by Jacob Mackenzie, who has been with the company for over six years.

Image of the Raptor engine on the Starship Super Heavy Booster.

Source: Reddit

Of course, no one fully believes that what is said in the email will be completely true. If Starship doesn't actually fly every 14 days by the end of next year, SpaceX may still be around. But, what Elon Musk means is that the timelines are necessary to keep the company moving forward on its ambitious growth path without scaling back its unprofitable operations.
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