SpaceX aims to “support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars,” the company announced on its Twitter channel. Image Credit: SpaceX
The rocket and spaceflight entrepreneur Elon Musk aims to start flying passengers to Mars in 2024, and says that his new rocket will be able to fly from London to New York in 29 minutes.
Musk made the announcements at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
He says his SpaceX company is poised to focus all its attentions on the new rocket, known as the BFR. Work on its construction could start next year.
SpaceX currently services the International Space Station and launches satellites into low Earth orbit with its Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon capsule.
However, the BFR would take on both these duties, as well as ferrying passengers to Mars and the Moon and making journeys on our own planet much shorter.
Elon Musk claims his latest project will make travel around our own planet much shorter. Credit: SpaceX
Musk told the crowd: ”Most of what people consider to be long-distance trips could be completed in less than half-an-hour,” according to BBC News.
The crux of Musk’s ambitious plans relies on being able to create and operate a reuseable rocket, and also reorganising SpaceX to focus on one single project.
Currently, the rockets that service the ISS are disposable and cannot be landed and reused.
Creating reusable rockets, Musk predicts, would bring the cost down and enable more ambitious projects to be attempted.
He also predicted that a version of the BFR with no cargo or passengers might be ready to fly to Mars in 2022.