SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sent his employees an alarming email over the Thanksgiving weekend. The message warned them that the company’s very existence was threatened by a mounting crisis with its Raptor engine production.
SpaceX urgently needs to increase production of the engine, which the company uses to power its forthcoming launch vehicles known as “Starships.”
“Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” Musk wrote in the internal message. “As we have dug into the issues following exiting prior senior management, they have unfortunately turned out to be far more severe than was reported. There is no way to sugarcoat this.”
Musk took to Twitter to explain the company’s circumstances after the email leaked to the press. While Musk put the scope of Starship into context and called the potential of bankruptcy “unlikely,” he said it was not impossible and floated a scenario in which it might take place:
“The magnitude of the Starship program is not widely appreciated,” Musk tweeted. “It is designed to extend life to Mars (and the moon), which requires ~1000 times more payload to orbit than all current Earth rockets combined.”
“If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability / liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink & Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible. GM & Chrysler went BK last recession. ‘Only the paranoid survive.’ – Grove”
If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability / liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink & Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible.
GM & Chrysler went BK last recession.
“Only the paranoid survive.” – Grove
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 30, 2021
Elon Musk’s tumultuous month
It seems that the world’s richest man has been facing a series of hurdles this past month across all of his endeavors. Musk has been locked in tense exchanges with politicians over the issue of whether to increase taxes on the ultra wealthy.
He took a jab at Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Twitter after Sanders tweeted that “We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.”
Musk coldly replied: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”
The multi-billionaire’s electric vehicle company Tesla’s stock dropped 5% after the exchange went viral across social media.
Musk then followed up his barbed tweet by threatening to sell more of his Tesla stock, something he had done the previous week after a public Twitter poll.
“Want me to sell more stock Bernie? Just say the word,” Musk tweeted to Sanders.
Musk sold 4.5 million shares of his company, Tesla, worth $5 billion, immediately after the majority of Twitter users who participated in his poll voted for him to sell. He has now sold up to 7 million shares.
Over 3 million Twitter users participated in the Tesla CEO’s poll. Musk is the largest shareholder in his company.
Musk’s move is said to be directly connected to Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden’s latest plan to introduce more stringent taxes for the United States’ billionaires, targeting their investments, which are typically only taxed after being sold, and thus financially “realized.”