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Elon Musk may be nuts, but a remarkable number of the South African-born businessman’s ventures have been successful. This week at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia, he announced another “really special” proposal.
His space exploration company SpaceX is pondering a new method of transporting people from one corner of the Earth to the other. And it involves a space vehicle/rocket system called the BFR.
“The BFR will be capable of taking people from any city to any other city on Earth in under one hour,” the company revealed.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX believes a journey from Johannesburg to Sydney could last just 37 minutes using the BFR
More specifically, the company quoted flight times of 39 minutes for a journey between New York and Shanghai, 37 minutes for a Sydney to Johannesburg trip, and a 34 minute flight between London and Cape Town.
Currently, a flight to London from Cape Town requires half a day.
The BFR system will reportedly hold around 100 people, breach the Earth’s atmosphere, reach speeds of 27 000km/h in sub-orbit, and conduct an automated landing on a platform.
Both the passenger-filled space vehicle and launcher will be reusable.
SpaceX gave excited travellers an idea of how the system would work in a video that feels straight out of Mass Effect.
But here’s the kicker:
“Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft,” Musk notes on Instagram. “Forgot to mention that.”
Development of the craft will be funded by the company’s current commercial space contracts. But eventually, the BFR will become the backbone of SpaceX’s ambitions in the Solar System, including transporting cargo to the International Space Station, the Moon and Mars.
As for the first launch date of Elon Musk’s remarkable travel system? Let’s just say you won’t be able to buy a ticket just yet.