Since mid-June, we’ve been asking forecasters on Good Judgment Open a question about whether SpaceX, the private aerospace manufacturing and transportation company founded by Elon Musk (also of Tesla fame) would launch their new Falcon Heavy rocket into orbit before March 1st, 2017.
The Falcon Heavy rocket, powered by a combination of three of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, is designed to carry enormous payloads of up to 54.4 tons and is crucial for achieving the company’s goal of sending a cargo capsule to Mars in 2018. Despite several delays in the initial launch of the heavy-lift rocket, GJ Open forecasters were generally optimistic that the rocket would see its maiden flight by March of next year, forecasting a successful launch with a probability around 75%.
Then, on September 1st, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, FL, destroying a $200 million satellite owned by Facebook in the process.
Immediately, the GJ Open consensus began to plummet and has continued to fall to its current low of 20%.
Despite the company’s reassurance that they plan to resume rocket launches in November and that a Falcon Heavy launch is likely early next year, the GJ Open crowd remains skeptical. As one forecaster commented:
Cannot see how they can now meet FH deadline. They will have to successfully fly at least 2 F9s before even contemplating tying a bunch of them together and hitting the go button.
Check out the most recent consensus and make your own forecast on GJ Open.