Report: Raptor Production Risks Starship Progress

Via SpaceX

SpaceX could face a “genuine risk” of going bankrupt if it doesn’t iron out kinks in Starship Raptor engine production, Elon Musk reportedly told employees in an email seen by Space Explored. 

  • As CNBC reported, SpaceX propulsion and mission/launch operations recently had leadership shakeups
  • If SpaceX can’t reliably, cost-effectively make enough Raptors, it can’t attain a “Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year,” Musk wrote. 
  • Without Starship volume production, then SpaceX can’t launch Starlink Satellite V2. “Satellite V1, by itself, is financially weak, while V2 is strong,” according to Musk.

Upshot: The email is likely less of an airtight financial forecast and more of a call to arms. Still, it shows the paramount importance of production at SpaceX…and the degree to which company flywheels spin on forward progress with ambitious timetables.