In a company-wide email sent out the day after Thanksgiving, Elon Musk warned SpaceX employees that the space company could face bankruptcy if they fail to accelerate the production of Raptor engines used for the Starship launch vehicle, CNBC reports.
Musk's email noted that since the departure of former Vice President of Propulsion Will Heltsley in early November, management is discovering new problems in production, and that the circumstances are "far more severe" than Musk thought.
“The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” Musk wrote.
Raptor engines power the Starship rocket designed to be launched to the Moon and Mars. It has already been tested in short flights, but the orbital launch requires up to 39 Raptor engines, requiring a dramatic increase in production. Musk said that due to issues with the engine, he would personally work on the engine production.
To avoid bankruptcy, the company needs to launch Starship at least every two weeks in 2022.