While most Americans were tucking into leftover turkey over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, it seems SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was a little bit preoccupied.
Employees of Musk's private space company reportedly received an email on Black Friday telling them that SpaceX faces a 'genuine risk of bankruptcy' if it doesn't ramp up production of its Starship rocket in the next year.
The rocket is set to be powered by the Raptor, a huge methane engine designed to be able to take people to the Moon and Mars in order to build colonies.
In the leaked email obtained by Space Explored, Musk is said to have called production of the Raptor a 'crisis' and that the company needs to start fortnightly launches or risk bankruptcy.
"There is no way to sugarcoat this. I was going to take this weekend off, as my first weekend off in a long time, but instead, I will be on the Raptor line all night and through the weekend," Musk said in the urgent memo.
The world's richest man called on his workers to get "all hands on deck" and return to the factory.
"Unless you have critical family matters or cannot physically return to Hawthorne, we will need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster."
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Although SpaceX hasn't given any official public statements, Musk took to Twitter to clarify his words, writing:
"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," Musk wrote on Twitter.
He added: "The magnitude of the Starship program is not widely appreciated. 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."
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SpaceX currently launch lots of satellites as part of the Starlink programme, and have even obtained a lucrative NASA contract to get astronauts back onto the Moon. However, it seems that Musk is more than a little concerned.
Having said that, Musk can't be that stressed during the apparently huge 'crisis'.
He spent last week talking about the game Pong and speculating whether or not it proves the universe is a simulation.
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