Tesla CEO to Launch New Venture

Elon Musk's SpaceX aims for rocket launch Friday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    SpaceX/Chris Thompson
    Here's a shot of the Falcon 9 first stage during the static test firing in March.

    He conquered online bill pay as the co-founder of PayPal, is currently leading the way in developing an electric sports car as the CEO of Tesla and now Elon Musk is taking on a new mission: Space.

    Musk is counting down to the launch of his very own rocket Friday from Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft, called the Falcon 9 rocket, was built by Musk's private spaceflight company, SpaceX and will carry a mock-up of the company's Dragon capsule. The eventual goal is to use the rockets to carry cargo and possibly even astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

    The test flight is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern time Friday. But there's a 40 percent chance it won't happen because of Florida's finicky weather. The team has a four-hour launch window.

    "It would be a great day if we reach orbital velocity, but still a good day if the first stage functions correctly, even if the second stage malfunctions." The team says on their site. "It would be a bad day if something happens on the launch pad itself and we’re not able to gain any flight data."

    But, fear not, Earthlings. A failed launch wouldn't mean a failed mission. It would be disappointing, but it wouldn't "make of break" the company or the commercial spaceflight industry, the SpaceX site says.

    The launch will be streamed live online.

    Jessica Greene wonders how Musk can afford such a venture, considering he's broke and living off his friends' money