This week, Musk warned of possible bankruptcy if teams couldn't finish
design and ramp up Raptor 2 production ,and one senior VP was fired.
Everyone knows that Starship is just a hobby right now. Bringing up the
word "bankruptcy" stains the reputation of the whole compamy and a hobby should not endanger the company. You stop buying Falcon9 launches if
you are not sure the compamy will still be around at time of your
If a company warns of "bankruptcy", it shouldn't be starting to build
new launch pads/stage 0 in Florida when its first one isn't complete
yet, let alone having had first launch and landing.
Starship is a bigger project than anyone has ever done before let alone
a compamy the size of SpaxeX. Such projects always take longer than
expected and cost much more than expected. And with iterative design,
there is still uncertainty whether it will work since the final design
is not published (and perhaps there is no final design yet)
This past week's warning is sign that money may run out because project takiung longer than expected. Considering the project is nowhere near finished, this is worrysome. And the last thing Musk should have done is spread uncertainty about viability of not only the proejct but the whole company.
I would assume Shotwell was busy with damage control with investors this week. But the cat is out of the bag: the msssage was sent that the
project is at risk of failure.
It is significant though that Musk's message was spefific to Raptor
engines because that is the one component of value that could be spun
off into consortium with Boeihg or others. The Boca Chica plant might be
sold and retasked to build grain silos, but that isn't high value.
Putting SpaceX in jeoperdy will likely have reverberations within NASA
who would start planning for a plan B should spaceX falter.
Irrespective of reality of finances, it was extremely dumb of Musk to
use the word "bankruptcy" in any communications.
Don't expect SpaceX to go bankrupt. Don't expect big shock waves to
ripple through the markets because of the email. And even more, don't
equate "bankruptcy" with "disappearing". Certainly didn't mean that
What Musk did was shout to the world of potential investors is that he
is no longer siure he can see the project to completion.
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