Elon Musk updates his Mars plan and unveils aspirations to reach the moon
Elon Musk has revealed the future path for SpaceX while speaking at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, South Australia. Musk spoke about his plans for the eventual launch of SpaceX’s BFR rocket (short for Big Fucking Rocket ) by 2022 that will set off the company’s plans to colonize our neighbor Mars. “It’s 2017, we should have a lunar base by now, What the hell is going on?” said Musk receiving huge applause.
Musk plans to achieve that objective by making his company’s current line of space crafts – the Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy, and the Dragon spacecraft — obsolete. Musk said that SpaceX will eventually start stocking up these vehicles and then change its entire focus on building the Interplanetary Transport System code named BFR.
“We can build a system that cannibalizes our own products, makes our own products redundant, then all the resources we use for Falcon Heavy and Dragon can be applied to one system,” he said at the conference.
Musk also announced that they would be scaling down the ITS. Last year, at the same conference, Musk had announced the rocket-cum-spaceship’s design that included 42 main Raptor engines that could send up to 450 metric tons to Mars – which has now been reduced to 31 main engines.The BFR rockets will on their first planned trip to Mars in 2022 with the mission consisting of 2 cargo ships tasked with the mission of finding water resources and building a fuel plant. This plant will be essential for conducting trips to and from the planet. Once this mission is successfully completed, the city-building phase will begin.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 29, 2017
Musk said that he feels SpaceX has figured out a way to make this travel affordable by using revenues from the company’s other activities – satellite launches, service missions to the International Space Station and making resuable rockets. Nine years after SpaceX achieved its first successful launch in its fourth attempt, Musk said his engineers are now working on perfecting propulsive landing. He believes the BFR can make trips to and from the Moon without generating propellant – which will make creating a lunar station possible.
Although SpaceX makes a lot of revenue with its current activities, its belived that the company will need a lot more revenue to meet its Mars ambitions and the US government is a good source for these funds. That might explain the new found interest in Musk advertising the use of the ITS to make moon missions.