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Will SpaceX launch for Mars in the 2018 window?

SpaceX has declared an intention to launch a "Red Dragon" spacecraft for a soft landing on Mars "as soon as 2018," per the initial announcement on twitter.

Per the more detailed article, this will be a joint effort with NASA, with NASA providing technical support in exchange for data taken by SpaceX's craft. The mission will employ SpaceX's "Falcon Heavy" for launch and a new version of the "Dragon 2" spacecraft for transit.

The biennial Mars low energy launch window is from April to May 2018.

Will SpaceX successfully launch a rocket towards Mars in this window?

This will resolve positive if SpaceX successfully launches a rocket towards Mars by June 15, 2018. "Successfully" here will mean that a spacecraft is on a Mars trajectory and in control as of time of completion of its last main engine burn to enter cruise phase.


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Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

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