On September 29th, 2017, SpaceX CEO and Lead Designer Elon Musk presented an updated vehicle design for what’s currently being referred to as BFR. A key challenge with the original vehicle design was figuring out how to pay for it. The updated design solves this problem by leveraging a slightly smaller vehicle that can service all greater Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars. This single system—one booster and one ship—will eventually replace Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon. By creating a single system that can service a variety of markets, SpaceX can redirect resources from Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon to the BFR system—which is fundamental in making BFR affordable.
Missions to Mars
Earth to Earth Transportation
With BFR, most of what people consider to be long distance trips would be completed in less than half an hour. In addition to vastly increased speed, one great thing about traveling in space is there is almost no friction. Once the ship leaves the atmosphere, there is no turbulence or weather. Consider how much time we currently spend traveling from one place to another. Now imagine most journeys taking less than 30 minutes, with access to anywhere in the world in an hour or less.
Time Comparisons to Major Cities
|Route||Distance||Commercial Airline||Time via BFR|
|Los Angeles to New York||3,983km||5 hours, 25 min||25 min|
|Bangkok to Dubai||4,909km||6 hours, 25 min||27 min|
|Tokyo to Singapore||5,350km||7 hours, 10 min||28 min|
|London to New York||5,555km||7 hours, 55 min||29 min|
|New York to Paris||5,849km||7 hours, 20 min||30 min|
|Sydney to Singapore||6,288km||8 hours, 20 min||31 min|
|Los Angeles to London||8,781km||10 hours, 30 min||32 min|
|London to Hong Kong||9,648km||11 hours, 50 min||34 min|