Elon Musk has criticized the company's work on manufacturing Raptor engines for SpaceX's Starship rocket, CNBC has reported citing a corporate letter. Musk has written:
"The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago. We face genuine risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year."
The SpaceX CEO also noted that since the ouster of company vice chairman Will Heltsley in November, the company’s management is discovering new problems in production and that the circumstances are "far more severe" than Musk thought.
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SpaceX plans to launch Starship to the Moon and Mars. Prototypes have completed several test flights. For orbital launches, the rockets need up to 39 Raptor engines, requiring a sharp increase in production.
In August, SpaceX assembled a Starship prototype for orbital launches, making it the world's tallest rocket. Musk later announced that Starship would be ready to launch into orbit in November 2021.