Fly to Oz in an hour
Billionaire’s rocket could mean day trips to Australia
PASSENGERS will soon be able to travel anywhere in the world in under an hour – in a rocket that is also capable of reaching Mars, according to technology billionaire Elon Musk.
The entrepreneur even plans to put the first astronauts on the Red Planet in just seven years. Mr Musk said the 29,000kph spacecraft – codenamed ‘BFR’, or ‘Big ******* Rocket’ – would make it feasible to pop to Australia for the day.
‘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.
The craft will be able to fly between most major world cities in under three minutes and take less than an hour even for long-haul trips, such as Dublin to Sydney.
It would carry up to 100 passengers out of the Earth’s atmosphere, so that they could fly without any air resistance.
From Dublin, it would take just 29 minutes to fly to New York or Dubai and 34 minutes to Hong Kong or to Cape Town. A trip from Bangkok to Dubai would take 27 minutes, while Tokyo to Delhi would take 30 minutes.
Mr Musk, the founder of PayPal and Tesla, said the intercontinental rocket journeys would cost ‘about the same as full-fare economy in an aircraft’.
‘Once you are out of the atmosphere, it would be as smooth as silk, no turbulence, nothing,’ he told a space conference in Australia.
However, he hopes that his earthly travel plans will soon be overshadowed by his Space X project to colonise Mars. He said: ‘I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and launch in about five years.’
Space X will start building the rocket by next summer and the plan is to send two ships to Mars by 2022, Mr Musk said. They would set up infrastructure on the planet to support future missions. Four rockets, two of them manned, would then follow in 2024.
Meanwhile, US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has announced separate plans for a manned 2030s Mars journey in a joint expedition with NASA.