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Elon Musk proposes 29-minute London to New York flight… by rocket

Forget the return of supersonic passenger flight, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has proposed global travel using rockets.

Speaking at a space industry conference in Australia, Musk outlined plans to use the company’s BFR rockets to send passengers “anywhere on Earth in under an hour” while making the trip from London to New York in just 29 minutes.

Better still, he thinks it can be done for the current price of an economy airline ticket.

Related: The future according to Elon Musk

“Most of what people consider to be long-distance trips could be completed in less than half-an-hour,” he told an audience in Adelaide (via BBC).

In a video demonstrating the tech, SpaceX envisions passengers traveling by ferry from New York to a launchpad in the ocean.

Upon lift off, the vessel would leave Earth’s gravity and split in two, sending passengers to their destination at 27,000kmh, and the rocket safely back to earth for reuse.

Aspirational goals

The BFR (codename for Big F*****g Rocket) is the same one Musk plans to build for SpaceX’s Mars missions. He plans to launch a vessel to the red planet by 2022, which he admits is an aspirational goal.

Musk said SpaceX is refocusing all of its operations around the BFR, which he plans to start building within the next year.

It will join the current Falcon 9 rocket which is only partially reusable. That vessel currently handles deliveries to the space station, while sending satellites into space for private customers.

Musk added: “So what we plan to do is to build ahead and have a stock of Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles, so that customers can be comfortable if they want to use the old rocket, the old spacecraft – they can do that because we’ll have a bunch in stock.

“But all of our resources will then turn to building BFR.”

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