Heard about this Elon Musk fella? He’s a South African entrepreneur who made his fortune inventing and selling PayPal, who’s gone on to start a bunch of other world-changing businesses, including Tesla, an electric car company, and SpaceX, which has revolutionised space technology and is on a mission to colonise Mars.
Interstellar exploration not your thing? Only interested in your own universe? Hang about, because SpaceX also has some pretty exciting plans for travellers on Earth too.
Speaking at an event recently, Elon scaled back his ambitions for a Mars mission (he’s going to populate the moon first), but he proposed a radical step forward here on Earth at the same time – a flight service between major cities around the world using SpaceX’s new BFR (yep, it stands for what you’re thinking).
According to Elon – and illustrated in the cool animated video above – the system would cut down travel times by so much that we’ll be able to visit “anywhere on Earth in under an hour.”
Flying at speeds up to 27,000km/h, most long distance trips would take less than 30 minutes!
In fact, flying at speeds up to 27,000km/h, most long distance trips would take less than 30 minutes! Or only slightly over. For example, you’d get from New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes. Sydney to Tokyo in just 35.
Famous for revealing plans that seem too ambitious and futuristic to become reality, at least within our lifetime, Musk reckons we’ll be rocketing around on his BFR within the next few years and all at a cost that will be “about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft.”
True to form, Elon didn’t say anything about the huge risks passengers would face on these journeys, including factors like heavy G-forces and space radiation, not to mention the possibility of the rocket exploding into a million little pieces.
Ignoring those minor details, if we were faced with potential death, while simultaneously getting from Sydney to London in the time it takes to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, or being stuck in an economy class airline seat for 24 hours, we know which option we’d choose.