Elon Musk's SpaceX rockets could blast us off to... Earth?

Posted September 29, 2017

Getting anywhere on the planet in under an hour - one of the more intriguing possibilities that Elon Musk, the billionaire innovator, raised as he unveiled plans for a new rocket.

The plan is in part to have a smaller vehicle than was originally planned for use in Mars missions, which is "still pretty big", but it's also practical for use for "everything that's needed in greater Earth orbit activity", Musk said.

Musk believes he could send the first two cargo ships to the red planet by 2022. His plan is to launch the companies largest rocket, the BFR in 2022 on a cargo mission to Mars.

"That's not a typo", Musk said on Friday during his presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia.

The rocket is capable of refuelling in space, necessary for journeys to Mars, and images show the BFR transporting a satellite to orbit, arriving at the International Space Station and on both the Moon and Mars.

Elon Musk added that the rockets should also cater to Earth inhabitants by reducing the travel between major cities to less than half-an-hour.

It's called BFR, short for "Big F**king Rocket", and it's what will take you to Shanghai from NY in just under 40 minutes.

Musk said a year ago it would be about $200,000 a ticket. Instead, he said that by scaling the system back, it could be created to do any activity around the Earth-Moon system. "The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built, we will start construction of the first ship in around six to nine months".

"We're sort of searching for the right name", Musk said.

By 2024, Musk said, 100 people could then travel to the planet in the BFR. You board at a sea dock somewhere in the world, fly into space then land at your destination.

In the midst of a dizzying amount of technical details, Musk also offered a serious look into SpaceX's strategy behind funding the development of BFR.

The vision for the future, a Big F&%king Rocket - genuinely called the BFR.

But Musk says the cost will be much cheaper than other launch vehicles now available with the added benefit that it can safely return to earth and be reused.

Russian Federation and China are each preparing for manned missions to the moon and Russian Federation has agreed to work with NASA planning a "deep space gateway" space station in lunar orbit, which would serve as a staging post for future missions.