Musk: Next rocket will fly to Mars or on Earth
For years, Elon Musk has been focused on building a colony on Mars. It’s why he founded SpaceX in 2002, and it has been the driving force behind it ever since.
But during a speech in Adelaide, Australia, on Friday morning, Musk said he has dramatically expanded his already-outsize ambitions. In addition to helping create a city on the Red Planet, he said the next rocket he intends to build would also be capable of helping create a base camp on the moon — and flying people across the globe.
“It’s 2017, we should have a lunar base by now,” he said during a 40minute speech at the International Astronautical Congress.
In a surprise twist, he also said the massive rocket and spaceship, which would have more pressurized passenger space than an Airbus A380 airplane, could also fly passengers anywhere on Earth in less than an hour. Traveling at a maximum speed of more than 18,000 mph, a trip from New York to Shanghai, for example, would take 39 minutes, he said. New York to London could be done in 29 minutes.
“If we’re building this thing to go to the moon and Mars, why not go other places as well?” he said.
The speech was billed as an update to one he gave a year ago, in which he provided details for how SpaceX would make humanity a “multi-planet species.”
At the speech a year ago, Musk unveiled a behemoth of a rocket that was so ambitious that critics said it was detached from reality. Now, he and his team at SpaceX have done some editing, and Musk presented a revised plan early Friday to build a massive, but more reasonably sized, rocket that he calls the BFR, or Big (expletive) Rocket.