Once again, Space-X upgrades their Big Falcon Rocket while Elon Musk announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is covering some portion of construction costs in exchange for a trip to the moon, where 6-8 famous world-wide artists will be invited to join him on the journey.
The Big Falcon Rocket is now over 118 metres long and can haul 100 tons of cargo to the Mars “and maybe Ceres” Musk specified. However, BFR will need to refuel in Mars orbit once more before landing on the surface. Another specification includes the addition of 31 “Raptor engines” providing a combined thrust of 5400 tons.
Musk envisions an interplanetary transport system where fuel depots spot key locations in our solar system allowing BFRs to colonize a diverse range of celestial bodies.
BFRs could potentially expand from Mars, to the asteroid belt where Ceres, an almost planet sized asteroid serves as a base for further expansion to the moons of jupiter and eventually the outer solar system. The final BFR design is supposed to be a towering 378 feet in height, or the size of a four story building.
SpaceX is currently building the first BFR at the Port of Los Angeles.
They’ve re-purposed “forward actuated fins” to allow a “sky-diver” like parallel descent from orbit where engines are ignited last minute, shifting the rocket around 90 degrees for a complete vertical landing. “shedding velocity while distributing force over most amount of surface area possible”
Some modular demonstrations have already been proven successful including some pressure tests conducted on propellant tanks and ignition tests of sub-scale Raptor engines.
Construction of BFR is projected to cost around 5 billion dollars. Musk maintains that he will be able to raise a large portion of the required funds by shuttling astronauts and cargo to the ISS, launching satellites for the Department of Defense, and commercial clients. Starlink, an orbital constellation of internet satellites could also contribute to raising money.
However first and foremost, it appears that Space-X has agreed to launch Japanese fashion entrepeneur Yusaku Maezawa for an unspecified sum of money (likely large). This has garnered mixed reactions. Some people contest that selling travel rights to a billionaire does not set a good precedent for the future of space colonization while others are looking forward to Yusakus selection of 6-8 global artists to accompany him on the journey.
Here’s the video source of Elons announcement
Space-X director of exploration technologies recently explained how drilling for water on Mars might work. The company also elaborated upon the expansion of Martian Cities from the initial landing zone, which all followed shortly after Elons private meeting with scientists and aerospace experts from around the world.
The Verge BFR Mars Design Elon Musk