But that’s probably not the case. That is, sure, money flows in, but it also flows out, as SpaceX is researching new technology that should allow human spaceflight to the Moon and Mars.
The focus of the company’s R&D efforts is presently the Starship and the many components that make it up. A few prototypes have been flown and destroyed this year, before SpaceX managed to get the landing right, and at the moment the company is eyeing the first orbital flight of such a rocket (no sooner than February 2022, probably).
The pace at which development is going seems to be causing quite a lot of problems for SpaceX, which according to Musk should be flying the Starship “once every two weeks” (presumably for commercial partners) next year. If that does not happen, SpaceX is facing bankruptcy.
Yes, bankruptcy. This is the exact word Musk used in an email sent to company employees on Thanksgiving weekend and made public this week by several media outlets, including CNBC.
The problems SpaceX may be experiencing have to do with the problems in development for the Raptor engines. Musk says the crisis is much worse than believed weeks ago, and “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.”
Musk decided to share this with his workforce as he needed people to come in to work during the holiday. “We need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster,” he allegedly said.
No additional info on the magnitude of the Raptor issues has been provided at this time.