The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, has been working on its ITS launch vehicle (formerly known as BFR) for some time now, and it’s finally ready to put the monstrous rocket into action.
In June 2022, SpaceX will launch to orbit, marking the first step in changing the world of space travel forever. Here’s what you need to know about this revolutionary rocket!
Elon Musk Breaks Records Once Again
If you thought SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch was a big deal, buckle up—Musk is planning to launch his next project, codenamed BFR (Big Freaking Rocket) in less than two years. Musk said on Wednesday that BFR will be ready to go by mid-2019 and confirmed plans to send two paying passengers around the moon before 2020. The launch of BFR would make SpaceX a leader in commercial space travel, which currently consists of only companies like Boeing and Virgin Galactic (Richard Branson). The company has yet to conduct its first lunar mission—the next one is scheduled for late 2018—but if Musk keeps his promise, it seems like we might get to see Earth from outer space much sooner than we expected.
SpaceX hasn’t been shy about its plans to colonize Mars, but Musk’s newest rocket could help realize his ultimate goal of bringing humanity back to its ancestral home. BFR would make it much easier and faster to reach Earth’s satellite and eventually other planets beyond our solar system. If we’re building this thing to go to the moon and Mars, then why not go to other places on Earth as well? It can do all those things, essentially, Musk said during a 2017 TED Talk.
If you build a ship that’s capable of going to Mars, what if you take that same ship and go from one place to another on Earth? he asked. We think you could do that with relatively minor modifications. In theory, BFR will be able to travel anywhere in the world in less than an hour—Musk said most trips under 600 miles would take around 30 minutes. The first launch is scheduled for June 2022 (though Musk has made similar promises before), so we’ll have to wait until then to see if SpaceX is actually able to pull off another incredible feat.
How The Falcon Heavy Rocket Will Work
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, once completed, will be able to carry more than 63 metric tons into low-Earth orbit and more than 20 metric tons to Mars. By way of comparison, NASA’s most powerful rocket currently can lift about 50 metric tons into Earth orbit. NASA also has a rocket in development capable of hauling up to 70 metric tons to Mars, but it isn’t expected to fly until 2018 at the earliest. The Falcon Heavy booster is essentially three Falcon 9 first-stage boosters joined together with a central structure—and all three first stages have flown before on separate missions.
SpaceX also will have to prove that it can safely and reliably land all three booster rockets following liftoff. Only two of them, however, need to be recovered; one will fall into the ocean, while another will attempt a landing on an autonomous drone ship parked offshore. If SpaceX pulls off a successful launch and recovery of all three rockets, it could dramatically lower launch costs by allowing reusable rocket boosters to fly multiple times. The Falcon Heavy rocket will look slightly different from SpaceX’s other launches thanks to its unusual cargo: SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster sports car.
Musk has said SpaceX plans to launch a red Tesla convertible sports car into space with one of its Falcon Heavy rockets. The company has nicknamed it Starman after a David Bowie song, and Musk tweeted that it will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent. After liftoff, SpaceX will attempt to land all three rocket boosters back on Earth. One of them will attempt to land on an autonomous drone ship at sea; another will land on solid ground at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. The third booster is expected to attempt another ocean landing, although those plans aren’t final.
Reusable Rockets Are Coming
Private aerospace company SpaceX has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch its massive Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). The concept calls for a reusable spaceship capable of carrying more than 100 people into orbit around Earth. If all goes according to plan, BFR could be ready to lift off as soon as 2022. For now, we’re eager to hear more details about where and when Musk plans on launching his BFR. We can’t wait!
It’s estimated that BFR will be able to fly around Earth in less than an hour. It will be powered by 31 Raptor engines, which SpaceX claims will combine to produce 4 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. This is a very big rocket, SpaceX notes on its website. In addition to space flights, BFR could transport humans from one side of Earth to another in about 30 minutes — saving valuable time for travellers around our world. Finally, it’s important not to forget about Mars! Elon Musk has previously said that he plans on using BFR as a launchpad for interplanetary exploration and colonization efforts.
Big Falcon Rocket is still years away from actually taking flight, but we can’t wait to see it in action. We’ll keep you updated on major developments as they happen. Until then, don’t forget to check out all of our other awesome stories about SpaceX and reusable rockets. There are a lot of great articles here that detail SpaceX’s past achievements — and what it hopes to accomplish in future launches. And if you want to become an expert on reusable rockets, be sure to check out our Future of Space Exploration collection here. There are lots of great resources there that will give you all kinds of information about SpaceX and more!
When Can I Buy Tickets?
The final stage of testing is expected to be completed by November 2022. Once that happens, SpaceX will announce when you can buy tickets to travel on Super Heavy. In August 2021, CEO Elon Musk said he expects tickets could cost less than a transcontinental airline ticket. You may not be ready to make your reservations yet, but you should at least be dreaming about travelling into space with SpaceX’s new rocket. After all, it could happen sooner than you think!
Getting a seat on SpaceX’s first mission to Mars is also an exciting thought. But SpaceX hasn’t announced plans to sell tickets for its Mars spaceship, so if you’re going to Mars, you’ll need to be an employee or potential colonist — at least until Elon Musk gives us all more details. For now, save your money and get ready to put down $200,000 (or more) when SpaceX finally launches Super Heavy into orbit.
When Will We Land on Mars?
If SpaceX is successful with its Big Falcon Rocket, we could see a human on Mars within a decade—and it’s totally realistic to think that will happen. The BFR system is actually made up of two stages: one booster stage and one spaceship stage. The first stage, called BFS, would fly to orbit with at least 40 liquid methane engines, while the second stage (called BFS) would carry at least 7100 tons of propellant. That might seem like a lot but it’s actually less than 25% of what NASA’s Saturn V rocket weighed when it launched astronauts to space during Apollo 11 in 1969.
It’s important to remember that SpaceX is planning on landing at least part of its BFR ship on Mars. That’s a pretty big deal since it’ll be hard to send supplies and equipment if they don’t know where they are landing. And once we get there, SpaceX founder Elon Musk plans to establish self-sustaining cities on Mars before making any move toward an asteroid or back to Earth. According to Musk, SpaceX will use its BFR vehicles as interplanetary colonialism ships—that is, until we develop full interplanetary travel capability.
Given all of that, when will SpaceX send its first manned mission to Mars? Maybe sooner than you think. In February 2018, Musk shared that he hopes to send his first crewed mission to Mars by 2025. Of course, with an ambitious goal like that and a five-year time frame, we’ll need to see how everything goes over those next few years before we get too excited about colonization on another planet. But if you’re at all worried about what we’re leaving behind on Earth, space may be our only option at that point.
The Bright Future of Space Travel
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently announced that SpaceX will be making history again by launching its new rocket, called Super Heavy, on June 27, 2022. The launch will take place from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. This date is subject to change as it has been pushed back several times before. If all goes well, then SpaceX will become the first private company to complete such a massive task. NASA had originally planned on launching their own space shuttle (Orion) around 2023-2025 but that mission may or may not happen now due to budget constraints.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on his official Twitter account that SpaceX will be launching its new rocket, called Super Heavy on June 27, 2022. The launch will take place from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral and should send a payload of 3 to 4 tons (1,300-1,700kg) into orbit around Earth. Assuming that everything goes as planned with the development and manufacturing of these massive rockets, SpaceX will become the first private company to accomplish such a feat. The big question is how does it do so much? One might think that NASA must be heavily involved but that would not be correct; NASA intends to let private companies handle missions like these due to budget constraints. It seems we have entered a new age of space travel.
SpaceX Launch Times – SPACEX SUPER HEAVY LAUNCH TIMES AND DATES – SpaceX Elon Musk’s updated a countdown clock and tentative launch date for his new, massive rocket on Twitter. Standing down from Friday’s launch attempt to run additional tests on Falcon 9’s second stage, which is now complete, Musk tweeted. Now targeting February 17th. The next rocket lift-off is one week later on February 24th. The company first announced plans to develop an enormous new reusable rocket called BFR (for Big F–king Rocket) at last year’s International Astronautical Congress meeting in Adelaide, Australia.