Elon Musk hints Starship rocket may explode on first orbital launch, predicting 50% chance of success and 'guaranteeing excitement'

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, is getting ready to send the company's Starship mega-rocket into space for the first time, beginning his grand plan to ultimately establish a self-sufficient human settlement on Mars.

Musk has stated that SpaceX is prepared to launch Starship from its facilities in Boca Chica, Texas, also known as "Starbase," once the business has been granted a launch permit by the Federal Aviation Administration.

However, as with any first launch, anything could go awry with a minor error in the complex hardware or algorithms of the rocket.

Musk stated that the rocket has a one in two chance of not reaching space in a talk at the Morgan Stanley Conference on March 7.

It won't be dull, he promised, adding, "I'm not saying it will get to orbit, but I am promising action."

Musk said, "I believe it's got, I don't know, ideally about a 50% chance of achieving orbit," and that there is, on average, an 80% chance that one of SpaceX's Starship rockets will enter orbit this year.

If the past of Starship's suborbital test missions is any indication, the rocket could explode if it is unable to enter orbit.

Despite previous explosions, the future of starship may be promising.

If successful, the launch will establish SpaceX as the first company to launch a completely reusable orbital rocket, which will pave the way for a change in the space economy.

Both Starship and its 230-foot-tall rocket, Super Heavy, are built to settle on Earth and take off again the next day.

Since SpaceX wouldn't have to construct a new upper stage for each rocket flight, that represents a significant financial savings. According to the SpaceX website, Starship can launch massive cargo into orbit that weigh up to 250 metric tonnes or up to 150 metric tonnes if the rocket is intended to be recovered.

By improving productivity, it would be less expensive to transport people, goods, and satellites to the moon and Mars as well as into Earth's orbit and beyond.

NASA chose Starship to send humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972 because of the vehicle's guarantee of reusability and sheer flight capability. In the middle of the 2020s, the agency hopes to complete that momentous moon mission.

Starship must first successfully circle Earth and return. In a sequence of test launches two years ago, SpaceX launched Starship mockups six miles above Boca Chica.

Only one of the initial four made it to the ground before it detonated.

The fifth Starship prototype then soared to a height of 33,000 feet, killed its engines to return to Earth, and then restarted them just in time to spin upright and softly touch down on the landing platform.

Since then, no starship has taken to the air. The biggest challenge yet will be its initial effort to fly into orbit.