SpaceX Musk’s odd take on the odds of Falcon 9 success

deer_hunter.JPGWhat does the gentleman on the left in the famous clip from the movie, The Deer Hunter, have going for him that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket does not?

A better chance of success, says SpaceX CEO and entrepreneur, Elon Musk


During a Launch minus 1 day teleconference with reporters today, Musk had this to say when asked how likely it would be that the maiden flight from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Friday would go well…

“We probably have a 70% – 80% probability of success, less than that of Russian Roulette. Remember that scene from the Deer Hunter? But not as likely the probability of success.”

Musk, despite his penchant for being completely and utterly random, a trait I appreciate immensely, knows his math: For a six-shooter with one bullet in chamber, the probability of success, assuming you want to live, is 83%. The guy on the left, if you recall, was first, and beat the odds. The other guy? Not so much.


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