SpaceX employees received a nightmare email over the holiday weekend from CEO Elon Musk, warning them of a brewing crisis with its Raptor engine production that, if unsolved, could result in the company’s bankruptcy. The email, obtained by SpaceExplored, CNBC, and The Verge, urged employees to work over the weekend in a desperate attempt to increase production of the engine meant to power its next-generation Starship launch vehicle.
“Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” Musk reportedly wrote. “As we have dug into the issues following exiting prior senior management, they have unfortunately turned out to be far more severe than was reported. There is no way to sugarcoat this.”
In his email, Musk advised workers to cut their holiday weekend short and called for an “all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster.” Summing up the problem, Musk warned the company could face bankruptcy if it could not get Starship flights running once every two weeks in 2022. If all of this sounds familiar, that’s because Musk has previously spoken publicly about times where both SpaceX and Tesla were on the verge of bankruptcy in their early years. More recently Musk claimed Tesla came within “single digits” of bankruptcy as recent as 2018.
The alarming news comes near the close of what’s been an otherwise stellar year for SpaceX. In 11 months SpaceX managed to launch 25 successful Falcon 9 missions, sent a dozen astronauts to space and drew a roadmap to mass commercialization with its Starlink satellite internet service.
You can read the full email over at The Verge.
So the peons are taking the brunt and having to fix the failures of upper management – for free, probably.