SpaceX’s Rocket Will Travel to Mars—and NYC to Shanghai


Elon Musk Tesla SpaceX

Another week, another headline about Elon Musk turning the world upside down.

Or, in this case, another world: Musk wants to send a SpaceX craft on a manned trip to (and from) Mars by 2022 or 2024—either way, more than a decade before any government, including that of the United States, plans to get there.

The BFR (short for Big F***ing Rocket) spaceship will become a primary focus for SpaceX, and should also be able to take people around Earth—anywhere on the planet—in under an hour.

Musk told the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, that SpaceX can refine current technology to build ships that would be big enough—the size of a modern superjumbo airliner—to replace airplanes with rockets, and that he can finance the undertaking through its ongoing operations.

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He also wants to use his pioneering space transportation company to offer ultra-fast airliners that could jet passengers to any destination around the globe in less than an hour.

Call it his Hyperloop—the high-speed transit system that would get people from New York to Washington, D.C. in 29 minutes—on steroids.

“If we’re building this thing to go to the moon and Mars,” he told a space conference in Australia, referring to the SpaceX spacecraft he’s planning, “then why not go to other places on earth as well?”

Back on terra firma, Musk also has been making waves with Tesla. As the company finally gets to volume production of its Model 3 mainstream-priced EV, he couldn’t resist a tweet about Daimler AG’s decision to pour $1 billion into its plant in Alabama to make EVs.

Musk tweeted that Daimler should be investing $10 billion into the plant instead of $1 billion, prompting the company to respond that it is investing over $10 billion into the plant, including electric vehicles; the $1 billion extra is for battery production. Musk responded, “Good.” In response to another tweet, which said Musk didn’t inspire the company to invest $10 billion “overnight,” Musk himself tweeted, “Yes, I did.”

Sources told Bloomberg that Tesla will be switching the huge information and entertainment screens in its cars to new components made by Intel, replacing chip supplier Nvidia.