Mars Rocket Will Fly Short Flights in 2019: Elon Musk

Delia Watkins
March 13, 2018

The 46-year-old, who has long dreamed of creating a human colony on Mars, revealed in 2017 that he was building the new rocket ship with the code name BFR that would be capable of traveling anywhere on Earth in under an hour.

Musk said he thinks that SpaceX's interplanetary ship will "be able to do short flights, short sort of up and down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year".

Elon Musk said on Sunday that his company, SpaceX, is on track to launch a spacecraft for Mars by next year.

Musk acknowledged that "people have told me that my timelines historically have been optimistic, so I'm trying to recalibrate to some degree here". Part of the rocket must be ready for first test flights in early 2019.

SpaceX has achieved multiple huge milestones, most recently - and perhaps most notably - being the successful launch of Musk's Tesla vehicle with "Starman" passenger into space.

Musk's eventual goal is to have humanity colonize Mars - a lofty achievement that would take developments of rockets that can be reused in order for it to be in any way economical. "It is the fundamental breakthrough that's needed".

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The rocket has the code name BFR and is larger than the Falcon Heavy rocket that was successfully launched in February.

Speaking in Texas, Musk said: "The biggest thing that would be helpful is just general support and encouragement and goodwill".

"A BFR flight will actually cost less than our Falcon I flight did, back in the day". That flight cost between 5 and 6 million dollars.

SXSW attendees who sat in on a panel last Saturday afternoon featuring HBO's Westworld showrunners and stars were surprised when showrunner Jonathan Nolan introduced SpaceX CEO (and generally real-life Tony Stark) Elon Musk onto the Austin Convention Center stage. "That's profound, and that is what will enable the creation of a permanent base on the Moon and a city on Mars".

After a series of short flights, Musk said he hopes to have a cargo mission land on Mars by 2022.

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