Want Worldwide Travel in Under an Hour? So Does SpaceX
Have you ever wanted to take a day trip to say China from your home in Manhattan and back again, but dismiss the thought because of the time it takes to make that happen? Maybe you’ve wanted a quick jaunt from Texas to Australia for a barbecue with a round trip travel time of under an hour? All of this sounds too good to be true, right? Not if Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX, gets his way. Musk wants to use the next generation rocket that SpaceX is developing (code named BFR, for Big Fucking Rocket, yes, really), to lift a spaceship off of a pad in New York harbor and have it land on a similar pad just off the coast of China at a fraction of the time it normally would. SpaceX wants to do this for the price of a current airline ticket.
SpaceX has already demonstrated their ability to land their Falcon9 rocket on pads at sea, so Musk figures that this won’t be too much of a challenge either. Usually, the BFR would be taking passengers on trips to the moon and to Mars. However Musk , not wanting the potential to be untapped, explained how the same rocket and passenger ship could be used to revolutionize the way we get around on our own planet. This would be by far the fastest travel humans have ever attained, above even that of the Concorde supersonic jets.
The construction of the BFR has not begun–yet. Musk is looking to start construction on the BFR in the next six to nine months. We certainly hope the rocket keeps its code name as we all would like to start throwing around the acronym (and full name) and have good reason to do so.
While safety may be a concern of yours, it’s not a huge concern of SpaceX in the sense that they are quite confident in their ability to land rockets on launch pads. They’re not wrong to think this either, as they have successfully landed sixteen Falcon9 rockets in a row on pads on land and sea. They’ve come a long way from the early efforts!
So far everything is theoretical, but if you’ve been keeping up with the Navy’s railgun and laser weapons, then you know that the future is coming at us fast. What we once thought was impossible or inefficient because of cost, is now becoming common as the technology improves almost as fast as it’s discovered.