Need to increase production
According to media sources, Elon Musk believes SpaceX needs to scale up production of its next-generation Raptor engine shortly or face possibly grave consequences.
Raptors will power Starship, SpaceX’s massive, entirely reusable spacecraft that will transport passengers and cargo to the moon, Mars, and other far-flung locations. Each Starship will require a large number of Raptors 33, six for the upper-stage spacecraft known as Starship, and a large number of Raptors 33 for the huge first-stage rocket known as Super Heavy.
In the coming years, SpaceX plans to operate a huge fleet of Starships. To inhabit Mars, approximately 1,000 of these vehicles will be required.
As a result, SpaceX intends to produce a large number of Raptors soon. And, according to an email, the company is now not on track to fulfill that challenge. Musk delivered this email to SpaceX staff over the Thanksgiving holiday.
In the email obtained by Space Explored, Elon describes the production status of Raptor as an “emergency” which is worse than it was predicted a few weeks ago.
Importance of launching SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites’ version 2
Starship is required to launch Version 2 of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites, according to Musk. More than 1,600 V1 Starlink vessels have already been lofted by the corporation. With its Falcon 9 rocket, it also included about 100 of the more advanced V1.5 line. However, the Merlin-powered workhorse launcher cannot hold the larger V2 satellites, which Musk envisions as critical revenue generators for the company.
According to Space Explored, the email reads, “Satellite V1 is financially weak on its own, while V2 is powerful.” “We’re also ramping up terminal production to a few million units per year. And, assuming that satellite V2 is in orbit to handle the bandwidth demand, this will cost a lot of money. Otherwise, these terminals will be unusable.”
Musk emphasizes in the communication that fixing the Raptor problem is critical.
“What it boils down to is that if we don’t reach a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year, we face a true risk of insolvency,” the missive says.
SpaceX should only require a few operating vehicles to be able to fly twice a month, given that Starship is meant to be totally and quickly reusable. But it doesn’t have any right now because Starship is still in the test-flight phase.
That could change in the near future. SpaceX is preparing to fly its first orbital test mission, which will use a Starship prototype known as SN20 and a Super Heavy known as Booster 4. If the US Federal Aviation Administration completes its environmental evaluation, the historic mission might take place in January or February. According to Musk, an evaluation of Starship’s orbital launch site in South Texas would be completed by the end of the year.