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Elon Musk to SpaceX Workers: We're in Trouble

He tells employees that problems with engine put company at risk of bankruptcy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2021 3:22 PM CST
Elon Musk Memo: SpaceX Could Go Bust
Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Elon Musk's Tesla is going gangbusters. His other company, SpaceX? Not so much, apparently. CNBC has obtained a memo written by Musk himself in which the CEO warns of potential bankruptcy if problems with a key engine aren't resolved in a hurry. "The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago," Musk wrote. "We face genuine risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year." The Raptor engines power the company's Starship rockets, still under development, which are intended to ferry passengers and cargo into deep space.

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The Verge also obtained the companywide memo, which Musk sent out on Black Friday. In it, he urged employees to work through the weekend with him on the Raptor project. "I was going to take this weekend off, as my first weekend off in a long time, but instead I will be on the Raptor line all night and through the weekend," he wrote. He asked employees to do the same in an "all hands on deck" situation. "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," he wrote. "There is no way to sugarcoat this." As Space Explored notes, at least three SpaceX execs have left recently, including the senior vice president of propulsion. (Read more SpaceX stories.)

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