Elon Musk gave a talk today at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2017) in Adelaide, Australia in which he described the design of a new SpaceX rocket system, informally called the BFR (e.g. “Big Freaking Rocket”). The company will soon start building the BFR with the goal of uncrewed flights to Mars by 2022 and crewed flights in 2024. The system can also be used to launch satellites, take crews and cargo to the International Space Station, and carry out missions to the lunar surface. He even talked about using it for 30 minute passenger flights between any two points on earth.

Here is Elon’s talk, which he titled, “Making Life Multiplanetary“:

An artist’s view of a BFR spaceship module on the Moon:

Here is a video showing how the vehicle could be used for point-to-point commercial transport on earth.

“Fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60. Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft. Forgot to mention that.” – Elon Musk

A brief clip showing a Mars base enabled by the BFR growing into a city:

SpaceX has credibility for such aspirations because the company has proven it can do things that were not considered feasible by many in the space industry even just a few years ago. Here, for example, is a compilation of clips showing the 16 successful landings so far of the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage boosters:

Update: Astronomer Scott Manley of the Kerbal Space Program rocket simulator gives his view of the BFR:

And here is the Everyday Astronaut‘s take on the plan:

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