Elon Musk Wants Us to Visit Our Planet by Rocket

 Just in case you thought that too much time had passed since Elon Musk last came with one of his crazy ideas, it would appear you'd be on the same wavelength with the Tesla, SpaceX, and Boring Company CEO.
SpaceX Earth to Earth rocket travel 1 photo
The last time Musk had us scratching our heads was when he first mentioned digging tunnels. That happened less than a year ago, and in the meantime, he's already put together the Boring Company and dug the first test tunnel.

If he moves just as quickly with his latest idea, we could be going to Australia and back during our lunch break in just a few years. Or maybe even sooner, considering some of the technology needed already exists, and the infrastructure requirements are minimal.

So, what is Musk up to? Well, in a twist on the classic "make love, not war" slogan, he thinks we shouldn't focus so much on ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, but have them transport people instead.

No, he's not talking about the ultimate assault ships, but rather a new way of thinking about intra-planetary travels. Rockets, he claims, could cut the time needed to get from one place to another significantly, and it could be done for the same cost as an economy airline ticket.

Musk's idea is to have SpaceX's upcoming mega-rocket - the "Big F**king Rocket, or BFR) lift a big spaceship into orbit. The two would separate with the rocket returning to its launching pad and the people-carrier beginning its journey at speeds of up to 16,700 mph (27,000 km/h) towards its destination, landing on a similar pad once there.

Once in place, this system would enable people to reach any point on Earth in less than one hour, Musk claims, but we're still not sure how the ticket won't cost a kidney and half a liver. Also, people who go into orbit onboard rockets tend to train for stuff like that for weeks, months, even years. Sure, a few minutes of weightlessness are probably worth the effort, but it still means the service wouldn't be available to everybody - the elderly or those with high blood pressure, for instance, would be the first to stay away.

The thrill-seekers would undoubtedly jump on the occasion, but the more considerate people will have a few doubts about the landing process as well. Planes have landed for billions of times since they were created, and while accidents do happen, they represent a tiny percentage. With SpaceX's Falcon rockets, that's not the case.

They have gotten better at it with the last 16 all landing without any issues, but the technology is still far from fail-proof. The last thing you need to see is a rocket with 100 or 200 civilians inside turning into a giant fireball. It would be a blow to the company's image that not even Musk's Twiter skills could do anything to save it.

As you would expect, the Tesla Inc. CEO did not go into too many details, but he did say he hopes to launch the construction of the rocket in six to nine months. That means we still have about two years before we start a strict fitness program to get in shape for our first orbital experience.


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