UPDATE: Musk and crew just successfully punched another rocket up there (8PM 7JAN18 US EST) and recovered the stage.
I don’t know if you all have followed this, but Elon Musk and his merry gang are at it again. Space X is blazing hot right now, they have launched over a dozen payloads into orbit with their Falcon 9 re-usable rocket this past year and they are upping the ante sometime this month with the first-ever launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket with a demonstration payload of a Tesla roadster.
It is Mr. Musk’s stated intent to resume lunar flights and go to Mars. And it’s not happening with pie-in-the-sky distant launch dates (like NASA’s 2069 date to launch an interstellar probe. Really?). No, he wants to head to Mars by 2024- this is a goal to get excited about, real exploration before I reach Social Security age.
And how does he plan on doing it? With a vehicle called the BFR, Big Falcon Rocket, or Big Fucking Rocket, depending on which source you read. For an in-depth exploration of the concept, click here.
For my Australian readers, you may be interested to know that Mr. Musk revealed the concept in September of 2017 at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide. Pretty cool.
Apparently, the production capacity for the BFR is already in development (this is what separates BS from stuff that will probably happen), and funding is coming from the successful payload launches over the past year.
I’m rooting big time for Mr. Musk and his crew. They are making the stuff that other people only talk about happen, and they are doing it with their own money and reputations on the line. This takes real chutzpah.
We get to see the first part of this ambitious process this month (January 2018), with the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. If successful, Mr. Musk’s Tesla roadster will be flung on a heliocentric Mars orbit- you can’t make this stuff up.
I’ll be watching. This is too cool.