Elon Musk Surprises SXSW to Talk Up SpaceX


Elon Musk at SXSW 2018

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk was the talk of SXSW this weekend. The founder and CEO of SpaceX announced his plans to launch a spacecraft he’s calling BFR (for Big F—ing Rocket) to Mars that will return to Earth, if all goes to plan in 2019.

“We are building the first ship, the first Mars interplanetary ship, right now,” Musk told the audience in Austin, Texas. “I think we’ll be able to do short flights, sort of up-and-down flights, probably some time in the first half of next year,” he said.

SpaceX, which Musk founded in 2002, launched its Falcon Heavy rocket in February with a payload that included catapulting Musk’s own Tesla Roadster toward Mars to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

The spectacle was captured in a short film (below) that debuted at SXSW as part of Musk’s appearance at SXSW on a panel on promoting HBO’s sci-fi series, Westworld. The film was created by Westworld showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy:

“I had the privilege of being down with Elon in launch control for the Falcon Heavy launch, and there was an incredible spirit there on the day,” Nolan told the audience. “It felt extraordinary, thinking about all the people that had contributed to putting this together, and the spirit of it. And something that I haven’t felt in an awfully long time. We tried to distill that essence down.”

“The only way I know how to express it: we cut a trailer,” he said. “It’s not a trailer for a movie. It’s not a trailer for a TV show. What we’re hoping this is is the trailer for one part of the next chapter of the human story.”