In Washington, SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk issued a warning SpaceX Raptor Engines Problem that the company risked “bankruptcy” if it could not fix issues with the Raptor engines that powered the Starship vehicle, causing staffing changes at the company.
The problem was brought to a head in an email sent by Musk to SpaceX staff on November 26 in which he warned of a cascade effect of the “production crisis” of Raptor engines that might have an impact on the rollout of its Starlink constellation’s next generation and overall business finances. The email was reported on by SpaceExplored.com before it was received by SpaceNews.
The Raptor production situation, he added, “is regrettably far worse than it seemed a few weeks ago.”
“Unfortunately, as we have looked further into the difficulties following the departure of past senior management, they have shown to be substantially more severe than was disclosed.”
Details About Musks Email
Although Musk’s email did not go into detail about the problems, his remarks probably pertain to Will Heltsley’s recent resignation as vice president of propulsion at SpaceX. Heltsley, who had worked with SpaceX since 2009 and has been vice president of propulsion since 2018, quit due to issues with ramping up Raptor manufacturing.
In the email, which was sent the day after Thanksgiving, Musk encouraged firm staff to stay on the Raptor line throughout the weekend even though he had originally planned to take the holiday weekend off.
We need all hands on deck to recover from what is, very plainly, a tragedy, unless you have urgent personal problems or cannot physically return to Hawthorne. Musk’s email prompted a comment request, but SpaceX did not provide one. Media inquiries are rarely acknowledged by the company.
Did You know – Elon Musk is set to develop 1000+ starships
Significance Of Raptor Engine
The Starship vehicle, which might make its first orbital voyage as early as January, requires a significant quantity of Raptor engines, which SpaceX must manufacture. Six Raptor engines power the Starship vehicle itself, but the Super Heavy booster required for orbital launches currently has 29 engines.
Musk stated that Super Heavy will eventually use 33 Raptor engines in a Nov. 17 speech to two National Academies committees, although he did not provide a timeline for the modification. Musk stated that Super Heavy will eventually use 33 Raptor engines in a Nov. 17 speech to two National Academies committees, although he did not provide a timeline for the modification.
For large-scale Raptor engine production, the corporation is constructing a new factory at its McGregor, Texas, test facility; but, for the time being, the engines are being made at its Hawthorne, California, headquarters.
SpaceX Raptor Engines Problem
There is no problem with SpaceX’s Raptor engines, but there was a problem while the production of SpaceX Raptor Engines. Musk indicated in July that the McGregor plant will be able to produce two to four Raptor engines every day, although the business has not yet provided a start date for that factory. This has caused a production crisis as SpaceX prepares for a series of Starship test flights in 2022.
A second generation of Starlink satellites must be deployed using Starship, which increases the risk of bankruptcy. The repercussions for SpaceX if we can’t produce enough trustworthy Raptors are that we won’t be able to launch Starship, which means we won’t launch Starlink Satellite V2 (Falcon has neither the volume *nor* the mass to orbit needed for satellite V2). Financially speaking, “Satellite V1 by itself is weak, whereas V2 is strong.”
He continued by saying that “SpaceX is spending “huge capital” to produce end-user terminals with a target of several million units annually. He stated that those terminals rely on the extra bandwidth that the second generation of Starlink satellites will offer.” If not, he wrote, “These terminals will be useless.”
On November 30, Musk appeared to back off some of the most ominous cautions in his tweets. “While still unlikely, bankruptcy is not impossible,” he wrote, citing the 2008 recession and the bankruptcies of automakers Chrysler and General Motors.
If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability/liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink & Starship. Then he referenced a saying ascribed to the late Andy Grove, the CEO of Intel: “Only the paranoid survive.”In another tweet, he stated that the production problems with the Raptor were “being fixed.”