Elon Musk proposes city-to-city travel by rocket, right here on Earth. “Anywhere on Earth in under an hour”, according to the business magnate.
During the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide today, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled new plans to travel to the moon and Mars. But he ended his presentation with an incredible promise: by using the same interplanetary rocket technology of Mars, he plans to transport humans not just to far planets but also across this one.
Musk showed an animation played on a big screen behind him, with a demonstration of the idea on stage, and claimed that it will allow the passengers to take “most long distance” in just 30 minutes and “anywhere on Earth in under an hour” with the same price of an economy flight ticket. “If we are going to places like Mars, why not Earth?”.
Musk suggested that with SpaceX’s imminent mega-rocket (with the nickname “BFR” for the “Big fucking Rocket”) a giant spacecraft would be lifted into orbit around the Earth. The ship would then settle down on floating landing places near major cities. Both the new rocket and the spacecraft are currently theoretical, but Musk said he wants to start building the rocket in the next six to nine months.
In the SpaceX’s video which illustrates the idea, passengers take a large boat from a dock in New York City to a floating launchpad in the water. There they drive on the same rocket that Musk is supposed to use to send people up to 2024 to Mars. But instead of going to another planet as soon as they leave the Earth’s atmosphere, the ship separates and breaks into another city, Shanghai.
Only 39 minutes and about 7,000 miles later, the ship enters the atmosphere again and lands on another floating pad, similar to the way SpaceX lands his Falcon 9 missiles at sea. Other routes proposed in the video include London to Dubai or New York in 29 minutes, Toronto to Los Angeles in 24 minutes, or Singapore to Hong Kong in 22 minutes.
Musk promised a smooth ride with these rockets. “Once you’re out of the atmosphere it will be smooth as silk, no turbulences, nothing”, he said. However, with so short trips, there won’t be enough time to watch a movie.
This proposed method of Earth city to ground city trip would be by far the fastest ever created by humans. The ship would reach a maximum speed of about 29,000 km/h, which is much more than the faster transport for humans, the Concorde.