Ever since 2001, SpaceX has been leading the race at developing innovative space technologies to make humans a Multi-Planet species. Elon Musk proposes to have humans on Mars by the year 2024 with the Big Falcon Rocket, which is currently under development.
The Big Falcon Rocket: Design Perspective
The Big Falcon Rocket, commonly known as the “BFR” uses 31 Raptor engines to produce a thrust of 5400 tons, with the capability to lift 4400 tons. To put this into perspective, the cargo payload capacity is equivalent to carrying an eight floor building, with a volume higher than an Airbus A380 cabin. The rocket also has a fin so that it can be controlled in any atmosphere it comes across.
SpaceX Aims for Cheaper Travelling
Surprisingly, the launch cost is said to be much cheaper than most rockets because it can return to earth and be reused. Although, the initial expense to develop the rocket will be higher, in the long run it would be profitable. It is better than building sophisticated rockets only to be used once.
SpaceX also aims to utilize the same rocket technology to allow traveling anywhere on earth within one hour for the same price of an airplane ticket.
SpaceX and The Journey to Mars
The Mars-Earth alignment occurs every two years and the journey is said to take 3 to 6 months. The first phase of the Mars mission is to send two cargo BFR by 2022, and then to follow up with 2 crewed BFR in 2024.
Construction of the rockets is planned to start in 2018. Each trip will ensure dropping humans and supplies.
Other missions for the BFR include building a base on the Moon, and providing space services for launching many satellites at once, or large satellites thanks to its large volume capacity.
Colonization of Mars
SpaceX’s plan to land humans on Mars is going to be one of the biggest technical undertakings of all time. SpaceX has proven the reliability of reusable rocket booster systems with the early Falcon generation.
Colonizing of Mars within 10 years seems like a long shot. However, according to NASA the currently known resources on Mars are massive, with large quantities of CO2 and Water, hence C, H2, and O2 for life supports, fuels. and plastics. This abundance should help for pre and post human arrival.
We live in an era of innovative space technology advancements. It would be interesting to see SpaceX’s plan becoming a reality.