SpaceX CEO Elon Musk just introduced the Japanese billionaire who would become the world’s first tourist to visit the Moon. During the press event, he also discussed the design of SpaceX’s next rocket, the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) — which will not only carry humans to the Moon but also conduct missions on Mars.
Multiple changes have been made to the rocket’s design ever since it was announced back in September 2016. The latest update has changed the rocket’s capability so now it can carry up to 100 tons of crew and cargo all the way to Mars.
But it would require refueling of the rocket in its orbit via some kind of tanker spacecraft. He also showed a simulation of the vehicle’s landing on the surface of Mars.
“I can’t wait,” said Musk at the event. “I’m super fired up about this. This is amazing.”
On completion, the massive rocket will reach a staggering height of about 387 feet. The BFR will be powered by 31 main Raptor engines that would provide a powerful thrust of 5,400 tons.
The overall design of the Big Falcon Rocket seems like a hybrid of a giant rocket booster and a large capacity cargo spaceship which could accommodate up to 100 passengers comfortably.
The BFR is currently under construction at the Port of Los Angeles. Elon Musk confirmed that the company has already done a few tests on key components of the rocket such as pressure tests of the propellant tanks and ignition tests on the Raptor engines.
We can expect the BFR to take off on its lunar mission by 2023.