Private Lunar Mission
On September 17, 2018, SpaceX announced fashion innovator and globally recognized art curator Yusaku Maezawa will be the company’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon in 2023. To date, only 24 people have visited the Moon, with the last of them flying in 1972. This first private lunar passenger flight, featuring a fly-by of the Moon as part of a weeklong mission, will help fund development of the BFR vehicle, an important step in enabling access for everyday people who dream of flying to space.
BFR is a fully reusable vehicle designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars. This two-stage vehicle—composed of a Booster and a 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.
An important question we have to answer is, “How do we pay for this system?” The answer lies in creating a single system that can support a variety of missions. SpaceX can then redirect resources from Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon to this system.
BFR is designed to deliver satellites to Earth orbit and beyond, at a lower marginal cost per launch than our current Falcon vehicles. With a 9 m diameter forward payload compartment, larger than any other current or planned fairing, BFR creates possibilities for new missions, including space telescopes even larger than the James Webb.
Space Station Missions
BFR can deliver both cargo and people to and from the International Space Station. BFR’s pressurized forward payload volume is greater than 1,000 m3, enhancing utilization capacity for in-space activities. The aft cargo containers can also host a variety of payloads.
Building Moon bases and Mars cities will require affordable delivery of significant quantities of cargo and people. The fully reusable BFR uses in-space propellant transfer to enable the delivery of over 100 t of useful mass to the surface of the Moon or Mars. BFR is designed to ultimately carry as many as 100 people on long-duration, interplanetary flights
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 benefit about traveling in space, outside of Earth’s atmosphere, is the lack of friction as well as turbulence and 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|