Elon Musk wants to direct all of his space program resources into the SpaceX BFR.
This week SpaceX CEO and lead designer Elon Musk provided an update of SpaceX vision to make life multiplanetary and colonize Mars. Previous name for the colonization class SpaceX booster&spaceship – “Interplanetary Transport System” – has been dropped and now Musk referred to it by the old acronym – BFR. The BFR (Big Fucking Rocket) is SpaceX’s next rocket after the Falcon Heavy that Musk said the company hopes will launch by the end of this year.
Unlike all of its previous rockets, this one will be fully reusable, and capable of refueling in space, which is key for his plans to do things like resupply the ISS, land on the moon, and start sending missions to Mars by 2022. With refueling in space, the SpaceX BFR can make trips to the Moon’s surface without needing any fuel production there, enabling the creation of “Moon Base Alpha.”
Overall, the concept is smaller and uses fewer engines than the Interplanetary Transport System Musk described last year, with added flexibility that makes it suitable for more tasks. The new SpaceX BFR is 106 meters tall with a 9-meter diameter, down from the 122-meter height and 17-meter diameter described last year. The booster rocket uses 31 Raptor engines (down from 42), and there are six Raptor engines on the spacecraft itself (down from nine). Those changes also make it cheaper, which helps answer the other question left open from last year — how would SpaceX pay for this? The master plan is to build up enough of the company’s previous rockets to store a backlog, then turn its capabilities fully to the BFR and only build one rocket for all applications.
SpaceX BFR can colonize Mars and build a moon base – in 7 years
Just before his scheduled presentation about colonizing Mars, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a rendering on Instagram of his monster interplanetary rocket sitting on the surface of the Moon. Captioned simply with “Moon Base Alpha,” the photo hints that Musk will discuss how his vehicle, known as the Interplanetary Transport System, could be used to establish a human presence on the lunar surface.
Musk said construction of the first Mars-class ship would start within nine months, and he felt “fairly confident” it could be ready for launch in about five years. Astronauts would depart for Mars landings in 2024, the next time the planets lined up, planning to build a fuel plant needed for the ships to make it back home. Each ship ultimately could fly about 100 passengers, with Musk hoping to get the cost of a ticket to $200,000 or less. They’d occupy 40 cabins and enjoy cruise ship-like amenities during the roughly six-month journey. A shelter would offer protection from blasts of solar radiation.
SpaceX BFR proposed as an option to travel around Earth.
A rocket built for traveling throughout our solar system could revolutionize travel on Earth, according to Elon Musk. Using a SpaceX BFR flying at a max speed of 18,000 mph, he says we could fly anywhere on Earth in under an hour. Musk revealed the plan during his speech at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide, Australia, where he also showed SpaceX’s plans for lunar and Mars missions. These “Earth to Earth” trips could make “most” long journeys in under half an hour and, according to Musk, have a cost per seat that is “about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft.”