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Elon Musk has sharp elbows when it comes to a new market.

When SpaceX was competing to fly cargo to the International Space Station, Musk mocked his rival’s rockets. Vying to launch spy satellites, SpaceX sued the US Air Force for a chance to bid on classified launches. Plotting a satellite internet constellation, he promised a network “an order of magnitude” more sophisticated than his competitors. Tomorrow (Feb. 6), his space company will attempt to launch the largest rocket in the world, the Falcon Heavy—and if successful, the rocket entrepreneur could find himself set for collision with a gigantic rocket NASA been building for more than a decade.

SpaceX’s goal since 2002 has been to develop the technology to make humanity a multi-planetary species. The Falcon Heavy is the first vehicle built by Musk’s company with the capability of taking a usefully large scientific robot—or even, in stages, a human exploration mission—beyond earth orbit, and to another astronomical body.

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Category: Science