On a day when a large share of Americans seek to recover from Thanksgiving excess, Elon Musk effectively ordered his employees back to their posts in Hawthorne, California, in order to address a “disaster” related to the spaceflight company’s new rocketship engine.
According to the email sent to SpaceX employees on Black Friday — obtained by the Verge — the company faces a “genuine risk of bankruptcy” if the matter isn’t resolved.
The problem stems from the Raptor, the methane engine that will power the company’s next-generation Starship spacecraft to the moon and beyond.
Musk wrote that SpaceX officials looked into the engine following the departure of former senior officials, and found that issues with its production were much more severe than previously thought. He didn’t disclose specifics about the problems, but he indicated that they could mean that Raptor production won’t be high enough to launch the company’s larger, next-generation Starlink communications satellites on Starships at the necessary pace — at least one every two weeks in 2022, Musk wrote.