SpaceX Says Big Falcon Rocket Testing Possible in Late 2019

Big Falcon rocket second stage 9 photos
Photo: SpaceX
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About two months ago, those interested in the developments of the new space age rejoiced at the sight of the Big Falcon Rocket’s (BFR) liquid oxygen tank rolling onto the grounds of the SpaceX facility near Brownsville, Texas.
All hope, and indications are, that actual testing of the rocket meant to ultimately carry humans to space will begin soon. Even SpaceX has high hopes these extensive tests will take place soon.

Not the same can be said about the second stage of the rocket, the one supposed to actually carry humans to space. According to a report by online publication Investor’s Business Daily, SpaceX’s COO Gwynne Shotwell said at the DARPA D60 conference this week that the company hopes to begin these tests late next year.

She also added an actual launch to orbita might take place as soon as 2020.

The BFR was unveiled as a concept by Elon Musk nearly a year ago. It is comprised of a reusable booster (first stage), and a ship mounted on top of it (second stage).

The booster will be 58 meters long (190 feet) and designed pretty much the same way as the proven Falcon rocket currently sending tons of cargo to space.

The second stage, or the ship, is a bullet-like construction 48 meters in length (157 feet) and with a diameter of 9 meters (30 feet).

Theoretically, it can be configured to serve various transport needs. For the trip to Mars, Musk plans to eventually have it fitted with 40 cabins for crew, as well as common areas.

The two components of the BFR combined are in terms of size close to the biggest rocket ever made by man, the Saturn V. In beats the rocket that carried all the humans that went to the Moon in terms of payload capacity.

The flamboyant plans of Elon Musk call for two BFRs to launch towards the Red Planet carrying cargo in preparation for human arrival by 2022. In 2024, 2 other ships, this time crewed, are to be launched toward the same location.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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