Elon Musk has been talking about his grand plans to colonize Mars for some time, but he recently revealed he also wants to revolutionize the travel industry here on earth. The SpaceX CEO wants to use space rockets to take you to any city in the world in under an hour.
Musk announced the plans at the end of a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, where he was updating the world on his Mars colonization designs. According to an accompanying promotional video, seen below, the trip from New York to London would be just 29 minutes using the rocket.
“Most of what people consider to be long-distance trips could be completed in less than half-an-hour,” Musk said in Adelaide.
During the talk Musk said that SpaceX is altering its focus to work on just one vehicle, the BFR – which stands for ‘Big Fucking Rocket’. This rocket will be used for both interplanetary travel and trips here on Earth, according to Musk.
The video shows passengers taking a high speed yacht from a dock in New York City out to a launching pad in the sea. The rocket would then take off, with one part detaching and heading back to Earth for reuse, and the shuttle heading onwards to the destination. All of the BFR would be completely reusable, Musk says.
The craft would reach maximum speeds of 27,000 km/h (17,000 mph) as it raced to its destination. That would make a trip from New York to Shanghai 39 minutes, down from 15 hours for a non-stop flight currently.
And the price for a trip on the rocket? “Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft. Forgot to mention that,” Musk posted on Instagram Friday.
If Musk is to introduce a hypersonic option to world travelers, he must overcome many obstacles. One of these is to perfect the landing of rockets to the point where they can safely come down to earth near highly populated areas. SpaceX has landed its Falcon rockets 16 times on water and land so far, and will need to test the BFR many more times before it can be trusted.
SpaceX and Musk have ambitious plans for Mars, as outlined by the South African last week. He wants to start sending people to the Red Planet in 2024.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.