SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has reportedly asked for all hands on deck in order for the company to recover from what he calls a “disaster” relating to Raptor engine production.
The grim outlook was contained in an email to SpaceX employees, in which Musk details the consequences if SpaceX is not able to fix the issues.
In the email, obtained by Space Explored, he explains that similar to the Model 3 production ramp, he will personally be on the Raptor production line over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it had seemed a few weeks ago. As we have dug into the issues following the exiting of 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.
Not one to usually mince words, Musk was blunt when asking all employees to return to Hawthorne to work through the issues.
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.
Making sure he was getting his point across, Musk further explained the consequences for the company if Raptor engine production doesn’t succeed.
The consequences for SpaceX if we can not 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, while 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.
He ended the email with perhaps the starkest message of all.
What it comes down to, is that we face a genuine risk of bankruptcy if we can’t achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.
While the email definitely leaves an impression, that is likely exactly what Musk was trying to do. As pointed out by Space Explored, the chances of SpaceX actually going under if they don’t launch once every two weeks are slim.
Instead, he is using the power of his words to keep the company on track for his grand ambitions for SpaceX over the coming years.