Report: Elon Musk tells SpaceX employees that company is at ‘risk of bankruptcy’

Founder/CEO of SpaceX issues warning over Starship engines

FILE - Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington. SpaceX aims to launch its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship to orbit in January 2022, followed by about a dozen other test flights next year. Musk provided the update Wednesday night, Nov. 17, 2021, during a space science conference held virtually. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Susan Walsh, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

In an email to employees, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said the private company is at “genuine risk of bankruptcy” because of the lack of progress in developing Raptor engines that power its Starship rockets, according to CNBC.

Musk sent the email, a copy of which was acquired by CNBC, the day after Thanksgiving.

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“The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” Musk wrote in the email. “We face genuine risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.”

Starship is the next-generation rocket SpaceX is developing to launch cargo and astronauts on missions to the moon and Mars.

The company is testing prototypes in Texas and has flown multiple short test flights.

The story was first reported by Space Explored, a subset of technology blog 9to5Mac.

Read the full CNBC report here.