Elon Musk, the hardworking businessman/entrepreneur/engineer, has another seemingly impossible idea that sounds pretty crazy: traveling from city to city not by bikes, buses, cars — but by rockets. Yeah, the kind that goes up in space.
Elon Musk Has Another Grand Idea About Traveling, And It Involves Rockets
Musk made such a proposal near the end of a conference in which he discussed SpaceX's plans to travel to the Moon and Mars. For that, he'll be using an interplanetary rocket system, which he claims could also be used for Earth-bound long-distance commercial travel.
Onstage, Musk demonstrated how it would work. He claims that such a travel system would convert "most long-distance trips" into 30-minute rocket rides. He literally suggested that with it, anyone could go "anywhere on Earth in under an hour" for the price of an economy airline ticket.
Elon Musk's City-To-City Rocket Travel: How It Will Work
He proposed that the upcoming BFR rocket — short for Big F***ing Rocket — would lift a huge spaceship into orbit around Earth. Then it would land on floating landing pads near major cities.
People are supposed to board this large boat en route to a launchpad. Once there, they'll hop onto the BFR, and they'll be taken to Shanghai. All the way from New York. The whole trip, from liftoff to touchdown on another pad, will just take 40 minutes. Can't picture it? Search for videos of SpaceX rockets landing on drone ships.
If realized, Musk's proposed travel method will become the fastest ever on Earth, in terms of grounded trips, of course. Musk didn't offer anything more beyond the initial proposal. There's no telling if this would ever work logistically. Aspects such as safety, cost, and government regulation also weren't discussed in detail, so this is very much still a pipe dream.
That said, Musk's company achieved the impossible when it successfully retrieved rockets and landed them safely back to Earth, which is an insane achievement in fields such as rocket science and aerospace engineering. If Musk is an expert at anything, it's proving that there are ways to achieve the impossible.
But is it practical? Why would a person take a rocket instead of a plane? — just because it's faster? Right now, increased speed is the only advantage of Musk's proposal. Are people generally complaining about travel by air being slow? Is there a significant clamor to make airplanes much faster than the current standard? Perhaps. But air travel is perfectly fine as it is. As the old saying goes, don't fix what isn't broken.
Would you ride a commercial rocket just to get to another country, or are planes more of your style? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!