The last month have seen Elon Musk unveil a whole host of new SpaceX ideas, from a space suit to a rocket that would cut the New York to Hong Kong travel time down to an hour, but the entrepreneur’s latest project is arguably his most ambitious, as he has announced his plans to build a base on the moon and a whole city on Mars within a decade.
In fact, During the last day of the International Astronautical Congress in Australia, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk discussed his company’s BFR project and explained how it could support our off-world activities. The basic idea behind the BFR is to create a single booster/ship that could replace the company’s Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon. This would allow SpaceX projects to join all the resources currently split across those three crafts into one project. Once completed, the BFR rocket could launch satellites and space telescopes or clean up space debris. It would also be capable of docking with the International Space Station (ISS) for the delivery of cargo. Most excitingly thing, though, is that the BFR could help with establishments of off-world colonies.
The BFR could ferry up to 100 people and tons of equipment, which Musk believes will be instrumental in creating a base of operations on the Moon or Mars, as he shared imagery of a fully fledged Martian city. Construction of a first possible SpaceX ship heading to Mars is expected to start within the next year, and Musk hopes to send a pair of cargo ships to the planet in 2022, though he admitted that this goal is somewhat “aspirational.” In 2024 SpaceX would send astronauts to the red planet using the BFR. These first settlers would construct a fuel plant, multiple landing pads and then expand out into terraforming and the construction of an urban environment. Elon Musk’s objectives are surely audacious, however sending humans to Mars will take some big, bold ideas, and his certainly qualify.