Elon Musk Says He Is Not Sure Whether Starship Will Work

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, appears to have stated that he isn’t sure his company’s upcoming Starship will work – just a week after stolen emails revealed that the company is, in Musk’s own estimation, on the verge of bankruptcy.

Musk made his remarks at a panel discussion at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Summit. Musk stressed the “difficult” nature of SpaceX’s Starship project, adding it “absorbs more of my mental energy than perhaps any other single thing.”

Elon Musk is working on a vehicle that could revolutionize space travel. The Starship, as it’ll be called, will be a fully reusable transportation system capable of transporting up to 100 people to Mars.

Elon Musk’s private spaceflight business SpaceX was founded with the idea of making life multi-planetary. He claims that relocating humans on other worlds, such as Mars, could save humanity in the event of a calamity on Earth, such as a massive asteroid hit.

Though it’s likely simply bravado, the timing is telling, as he made the claim just a week after confessing in leaked emails to SpaceX staff that delayed development on the Raptor engines had put the business in “real risk of bankruptcy,” and after hinting at going public.

Musk claims to work seven days a week and “quite ridiculous hours.” The CEO has previously stated that he has worked up to 20 hours each day. Musk admitted on the podcast Recode Decode in 2018 that his job at Tesla and SpaceX caused him to sleep on the factory floor and work more than 120 hours a week on occasion. Later that year, though, the CEO said that he would reduce his workweeks to 80 to 90 hours.

Earlier, in the end of November Musk tweeted that “If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability / liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink (and) Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible,”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Elon Musk (Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

SpaceX has been testing multiple upper stage designs at its Starbase site in Boca Chica, Texas, during the last three years. The business began in 2019 with a 39-meter-tall “test piece” called Starhopper, which resembled a water tower in appearance, and flew it to 150 meters above ground.

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