SpaceX, the high-flying launch company that broke a $100 billion valuation just months ago, could be in big financial trouble, according to its top executive.
In an email to SpaceX employees, founder and CEO Elon Musk said that the company could face a “genuine risk of bankruptcy” if it isn’t able to fly Starship, its largest launch vehicle currently in development, once every two weeks in the upcoming year, Space Explored reports. SpaceX is struggling with slow production of its Raptor engine, and Musk in his staff email called the engine’s production issues a “crisis."
“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,” Musk said in the email. “There is no way to sugarcoat this.”
Without enough reliable engines, Musk said, the company won’t be able to fly Starship or the projects it was meant to deploy, including the Starlink v2.0 satellite, a larger version of its original Starlink broadband satellites. Musk called the Starlink V1 satellites “financially weak,” as the company previously stated it lost $1,000 per customer in the process of building its user terminals alone.
When asked by one Twitter user about the production rate of the Raptor engines, Musk replied simply, “it's getting fixed.”