CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk has revealed plans for new space rockets that will not only help his company colonize Mars, but also create a moon base, and also allow for travel to any place on Earth in under one hour.
Musk revealed the SpaceX news when he spoke about the new spacecraft, his Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), at the International Astronautical Congress which, as he has revealed before, is currently codenamed the BFR (Big Fucking Rocket). SpaceX wants to have the first launch of the BFR by 2022 and then have four of new space rockets heading to the red planet by 2024.
To allow SpaceX to do this, Musk says the company plans to shelve all of its other rockets—the Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy, and the Dragon spacecraft—and focus all its resources into a new fleet of BFR craft.
“All our resources will turn toward building BFR. And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station.” Musk said. Which would mean that smaller craft would no longer be relied upon for launching satellites and servicing the International Space Station, instead the BFR would ultimately provide these along with also being used to colonize Mars and set up a Moon base.
Elon Musk Reveals SpaceX Mars Colonization Plans
Technology Behind The New SpaceX Rockets (BFR)
Musk also revealed that SpaceX had developed a new carbon-fibre tank for new space rockets that was stronger and more capable of holding cryogenic liquid. He added that the next key element in the next generation of SpaceX spacecraft would be the propulsion system. "The raptor engine will be the highest thrusting engine of any kind ever made," Musk announced.
"We can build a system that cannibalizes our own SpaceX products, makes our own products redundant." Musk noted. "If we can do that then all the resources that are used for Falcon9, Dragon and Heavy can by applied to this system."
SpaceX also hope to keep costs down by using reusable spacecraft, designs of which it's been working on for a couple of years and has accomplished 16 successful and successive landings of SpaceX's Falcon9 rocket.
Musk Wants SpaceX Rockets On Mars By 2024
Musk said fuel costs are low, so having a fully reusable craft and rocket, an entire system, will reduce costs hugely. Construction of the system has already began. “I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and be ready for a launch in five years.” Musk said.
By 2024, Musk said he wanted to fly four ships to Mars, two of which would have crew in them. By that stage, they planned to be able to build a plant on the surface of Mars that would be able to synthetically create fuel for return journeys.
However, what was also intriguing is that along with interplanetary travel, Musk also plans to use the craft on earth too. Musk said that the ship would travel at 18,000mph when at its fastest, so faster than Concorde. And that it would complete most long distance flights in 30 minutes and would be able to get anywhere on Earth in under an hour. See the video at the top of this post for SpaceX's concept video on this.
“If we’re building this thing to go to the Moon and Mars then why not go to other places on earth as well." he said.
Check out Elon Musk's full speech on the new SpaceX rockets, below.