Elon Musk has responded to a leaked email he wrote to his SpaceX workers, revealing that the firm is on the verge of bankruptcy while pushing employees to work on the company’s Raptor engine over the weekend.
The main difficulty appears to be a lack of progress in developing its Raptor engine, which is being made in partnership with NASA for the Lunar Artemis project. The Raptor engine is critical to the Starship prototype’s ability to jump to orbit, even though it has taken many test flights. However, if Musk and his organization pursue orbital missions, the rockets will require up to 39 Raptor engines apiece.
Therefore, Musk said that during the Thanksgiving holiday, SpaceX will require “all hands on deck” and that he plans to spend the holidays working on the engine’s production line.
When a Twitter fan inquired about the Raptor’s progress, the Tesla CEO responded harshly.
“It’s getting fixed,” he tweeted.
Musk has not yet questioned the validity of the email, claiming that it came from him. However, if the email is accurate, the threat is real. On November 17, Musk told the National Academy of Sciences that SpaceX aimed to fly the ship on its first orbital voyage in January or February. However, the email indicated that SpaceX is counting on more frequent flights to ensure the project’s viability.
“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,” the email reads.
The engine’s development appears to have slipped far behind schedule. This is because it’s grown so bad, especially after the departure of former VP of Propulsion Will Heltsley, who left the firm this month. Heltsley was fired from the project just before he left.
The email revealed several shocking facts about the company, which generally portrays itself as successful. The truth, however, appears to be quite different. So let’s see how SpaceX recovers from this situation.