By this point, nothing that comes out of SpaceX towers should surprise us, yet it’s hard not to gawk at this. Elon Musk’s company has proposed an interplanetary rocket system capable of taking people from any city to any other city on Earth in under one hour, with the cost roughly equivalent to an economy flight on a passenger jet.
The ambitious plan, brilliantly codenamed BFR (Big Fucking Rocket), would see passengers board a spacecraft capable of reaching 16,777 mph per hour (although earth travel is limited to a mere 7,000mph). Such speeds would mean routes like Los Angeles to New York and New York to Tokyo would be achievable in 25 minutes and 37 minutes, respectively.
It might sound like something out of a sci-fi film, but SpaceX plans on launching the reusable rocket by 2022, with an eye on using it to colonize Mars by 2024. Such timelines should be taken with a pinch of salt, however, and Musk himself even described the plans as “aspirational.” Regardless, construction work will begin in the next six to nine months.
“If you build a ship that’s capable of going to Mars, what if you take that same ship and go to another place on earth, so we looked at that and the results are quite interesting,” Musk said at a space industry conference yesterday. The polymath entrepreneur then went on to explain how SpaceX hopes the BFR will render the rest of its fleet obsolete. “We want to have one system, one booster ship that replaces Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon.”
Finishing his speech, Musk went on to express his dismay at how current rockets are being wasted. “I can’t emphasize enough how profound this is, and how important reusability is,” he said, claiming it would be nowhere near as expensive as Saturn V, a dispensible rocket used by NASA between 1967 to 1973.
Watch the proposed rocket in action above, and then check out the newly unveiled SpaceX spacesuit.