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Elon Musk says next SpaceX rocket only has 50% chance of success but it 'won't be boring'
Featured Image Credit: Operation 2022 / UPI / Alamy Stock Photo

Elon Musk says next SpaceX rocket only has 50% chance of success but it 'won't be boring'

He's revealed things might not go to plan but says it will at least be entertaining

Elon Musk has admitted that his plans to launch the SpaceX Starship into orbit might not quite pan out, but promises that it at least ‘won’t be boring’.

The $3 billion Starship rocket is set to blast off over the next few weeks, but Musk has now revealed there’s a 50/50 chance that it might not even make it into orbit.

He said: “I'm not saying it will get to orbit, but I am guaranteeing excitement.”

Musk then added that the launch ‘won't be boring!'

Speaking during the Morgan Stanley Conference last week, he said: “I think it's got, I don't know, hopefully about a 50 percent chance of reaching orbit.”

SpaceX is preparing itself to launch Starship from its base in Boca Chica, Texas, with Musk saying it's ready to go once it receives a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration - this could come within the next few weeks.

Elon Musk says there's about a 50 percent chance Starship will get into orbit.
Bob Daemmrich / Alamy Stock Photo

Musk has said that if this first attempt doesn’t go well SpaceX is building several more Starship rockets and he reckons that there’s around an 80 percent chance that one of these will be successful before the end of 2023.

Launching such a complex piece of machinery is fairly fraught with potential problems - one teeny tiny flaw within the spacecraft's hardware or software could see the whole thing, literally, go up in flames.

The launch is all part of Musk’s super ambitious plans to build a human settlement on Mars.

Speaking back on the Lex Friedman Podcast back in December 2021, Musk shared details on his plans to send humans up to Mars, saying ‘best case is about five years, worst case 10 years’.

He also spoke about Starship, adding: “I mean, Starship is the most complex and advanced rocket that’s ever been made. It’s a lot. It’s really next level.

The SpaceX launchpad in Texas.
Marc Sherman / Alamy Stock Photo

“The fundamental optimisation of Starship is minimising the cost per ton per orbit and ultimately cost per ton to the surface of Mars.

Along with the project being the most advanced space mission yet, Musk went on to say that the cost of such a mission was a major barrier as well.

“There is a certain cost per ton to the surface of Mars where we can afford to establish a self-sustaining city, and above that we cannot afford to do it,” he said back in 2021.

“Right now you couldn’t fly to Mars for a trillion dollars. No amount of money could get you a ticket to Mars. So we need to get that above, you know, to get that something that is actually possible at all.”

Topics: SpaceX, Space, Elon Musk