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Science & Technology

Inventor Elon Musk unveils plan for new rockets in attempt to reduce travel time

Saturday 30/September/2017 - 09:07 AM
Sada El Balad
Futurist and inventor Elon Musk has unveiled a plan to make rockets for transporting people between Earth's major cities in under half an hour and sending cargo ships to Mars by 2022، according to "Press TV".

Musk، who is a billionaire innovator، unveiled his plan at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide، Australia، on Friday.The founder of SpaceX said a planned interplanetary transport system، code-named BFR، would be downsized so it could carry out a range of tasks that would then pay for future Mars missions.

Musk showed illustrations of his BFR rocket، which would both take off and land vertically، like a space rocket.

Musk's company، SpaceX، has been able to make smaller rockets land vertically، though the technical and commercial feasibility of this new venture is yet to be determined.

He said the BFR rocket would fly most routes، New York to Tokyo، for example، in about 30 minutes، and anywhere in under an hour.

The BFR rocket would also be able to bring satellites into orbit and crews to Mars، he said.

"I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and be ready for a launch in about five years. Five years seems like a long time to me. The area under the curve of resources over that period of time should enable this timeframe to be met but if not this timeframe، then pretty soon thereafter."

"The most important thing... is that I think we have figured out how to pay for (BFR)،" Musk told a packed auditorium at a global gathering of space experts in Adelaide.

"Which is to have a smaller vehicle، it's still pretty big، but one that can... do everything that's needed in the greater Earth orbit activity."

Musk said his firm had started building the system، with the construction of the first ship to start in six to nine months.

"I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and launch in about five years،" he said.

At least two cargo ships would land on the Red Planet in 2022، with the key mission of finding the best source of water، currently mooted as a way to power rockets، he said.

The rockets would place power، mining and life-support infrastructure on Mars to support future missions، with four ships set to take people، equipment and supplies to the planet in 2024.

The trips would be funded by a range of activities، including launching satellites، servicing the space station and lunar missions، he said.Musk promised the BFR rockets would reduce the travel time between major cities to less than half an hour.

A trip from Bangkok to Dubai would take 27 minutes، and it would be 30 minutes from Tokyo to Delhi، according to his calculations.

"Once you are out of the atmosphere، it would be as smooth as silk، no turbulence، nothing،" he said. "There's no weather... and you can get to most long-distance places in less than half-an-hour. If we are building this thing to go to the Moon and Mars، then why not go to other places on Earth as well."

The week-long annual International Astronautical Congress، which concluded on Friday، saw government space agencies and private firms outline their plans to send humans to the Moon and Mars in the next few decades.

This included an agreement between Russian space agency Roscosmos and NASA to work on the first lunar space station as part of a program called the Deep Space Gateway.

Edited by Rasha Mohamed

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