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Will the World’s Most Powerful Rocket Blow Up in Elon Musk’s Face?

In just three months time, we may see the launch of what would be the most powerful rocket–by a factor of two–in operation. That is, unless everything goes wrong for SpaceX and it explodes in a spectacularly disappointing fireball.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is hoping to make it to orbit with the equivalent of eighteen 747s’ worth of thrust. If it does so this November, Elon Musk is betting that the rocket will be the first real stepping stone towards getting people off this rock and on their way to Mars. But the you-can’t-prove-he-isn’t-Tony-Stark extraterrestrial entrepreneur doesn’t want to get our hopes up. Space travel is really hard, and there’s a good chance it all blows up in his face.

At a recent International Space Station Research and Development conference, as reported by Fox6Now, Musk told those in attendance that “there’s a lot of risk associated with Falcon Heavy,” saying that there is a “real good chance that that vehicle does not make it to orbit.”

Summing up the situation, Musk added: “Major pucker factor, really, is like the only way to describe it.”

A rendering of the Falcon Heavy (carrying the Dragon capsule) at launch.

Musk further tamped down expectations in the description of a new animation of the Falcon Heavy launch, released on his Instagram.

But if all goes well, SpaceX–now one of the world’s most valuable private companies–could be well on its way to getting us back to the Moon, and onward to Mars. Check out the latest Muskwatch above for our breakdown. Also on the show today, Musk throws some shade at The Verge, we guess NASA acronyms, and the agency is begging you not to burn your eyeballs watching the upcoming eclipse.

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Images: Elon Musk; SpaceX

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