SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was to convey negative information about the Raptor program to his company’s employees. The billionaire has suggested that problems with engine manufacturing could pose a threat to future space exploration plans.
According to a memo by CNBC journalist Michael Sheetz, Musk is upset by the lack of progress in developing the Raptor engines, which are a key component of the Starship rocket propulsion system. The Space Explored service was the first to inform about the company’s troubles.
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– If next year we are not able to send rockets into space every two weeks, the risk of bankruptcy will become fully real – Musk was supposed to write.
SpaceX did not respond to Insider’s request for comment. Musk himself, however, wrote on Twitter that they are working on a solution to this situation.
This is not the first time that the richest man in the world is facing bankruptcy. Between 2017 and 2019, another Musk company, Tesla, was one month away from collapsing due to the increased production of the Model 3.
Although SpaceX is considered the second most valuable private company in the world, its future and plans for, inter alia, Mars colonization greatly depends on the success of Raptor. SpaceX is currently working on the Starship rocket, which will ultimately transport people and equipment to Mars and the Moon. A total of 39 Raptor engines will be needed to power the fleet of this new type of spacecraft. So far, the rocket has only been tested over a short distance at the SpaceX spaceport in Texas.
In November, Musk announced that the Starship’s first space flight is scheduled for January-February next year. However, problems with the production of engines may delay this deadline.
– The problems with the Raptor seem to be much more serious than we thought just a few months ago – the billionaire wrote in a statement. – Let’s be honest: we are dealing with a serious crisis. We need each of you to defeat him, Musk appealed to the SpaceX staff.
The president of SpaceX was also to add that he was planning a vacation, but problems in the company meant that he had to work even during a long weekend.
Starlink at risk
The situation of the Starship program affects not only projects related to the colonization of planets in the solar system, but also the development of the Starlink company. Although the Falcon 9 rockets have so far orbit the Earth 1.7 thousand. According to Musk, to place new versions of space devices in space, larger and more powerful Starship rockets will be needed.
Musk’s mail to SpaceX employees was released shortly after Will Heltsley, until recently the company’s vice president of rocket propulsion, resigned. Heltsley was due to be pulled out of Raptor due to lack of progress, CNBC reported. In early November, Musk tweeted that the Raptor must be “completely overhauled”.