Elon Musk told SpaceX employees that the lack of progress on the Raptor engines creates a “risk of bankruptcy.”
In an e-mail sent to the CNBC, Musk said the production of trolling motors slows the progress of Starship and Starlink. SpaceX CEO believes the company’s Raptor program was in “crisis” and posed a major threat to the entire space enterprise.
The Tesla founder said he was upset by the lack of progress on the Raptor engines that power his Starship rocket in a company-wide email that was sent the day after Thanksgiving and obtained later. by CNBC’s Michael Sheetz.
“We face a real risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship theft rate of at least once every two weeks next year,” Musk said.
Musk had previously faced the very real possibility of bankruptcy in the past. The CEO said his other company, Tesla, was only a month away from bankruptcy when it ramped up production of the Model 3 between 2017 and 2019.
While SpaceX is currently the second most valuable private company in the world, the success of Raptor engine production is a critical part of the company’s future, including Musk’s plan to populate Mars.
Musk said in November that SpaceX plans to launch Starship into orbit by January or February of next year, but Raptor engine production is lagging behind.
SpaceX’s development of its satellite Internet program, Starlink, is also dependent on Starship’s progress. The space company has launched around 1,700 satellites to date using its Falcon 9 rockets, but Musk reportedly said in the email that the latest version of Starlink will require the extra mass and power of Starship.