On Friday, at the International Astronautical Conference, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed the newest advances of the company’s Interplanetary Transport System, dubbed BFR for Big Fuc***g Rocket, which would be able to travel to Mars. He said his team is already working on it, but they’ll have to “cannibalize” other SpaceX’s projects. Musk estimates that the spacecraft will be ready by the year 2022.

In recent years Musk has shared how much he would want SpaceX to develop the first spaceship able to travel not only to the Moon but to Mars, too. He is going all-in on the race for creating the first Mars cruiser to offer private space-flights.

An artist's rendition of Moon Base Alpha with the BFR. Image credit: SpaceX
An artist’s rendition of Moon Base Alpha with the BFR. Image credit: SpaceX

SpaceX seems to be taking things to new levels. This year, the company increased its launch frequency to 13 — an upgrade from last year’s 8 frequency. NASA is also paying SpaceX for sending cargo to the International Space Station, and soon it would do so for transporting astronauts.

According to Musk, this new rocket won’t just be able to take people to space: it will also launch satellites to the International Space Station. This new BFR is smaller than the other spacecraft he described in last year’s IAC, but it would have applications beyond interplanetary travel. In fact, it would be able to carry up to 100 passengers to the moon in just 60 minutes.

When the spaceship arrives on the planet, Musk wants to build a fuel-processing facility on its surface. He also hopes to identify whether there are any water sources or not.

“He can now use those same now-proven people who have built flight hardware to now redesign the spacecraft,” the President of NexGen Space LLC, a space consulting firm, and former member of the Trump administration’s NASA transition team, Charles Miller, told The Verge.

The company will have to ‘cannibalize’ other projects

The SpaceX CEO talked about how much the company was going to spend on developing this spaceship. However, he didn’t mention a specific amount of money. He focused more on saying he was going to stop developing other planned projects and adding some of their characteristics to this new project.

Elon Musk at the IAC. Image credit: Elonmusk.com.au
Elon Musk at the IAC. Image credit: Elonmusk.au

Musk really wanted this spacecraft to be as cheaper as possible, but some sacrifices have to be made, he noted. He said he would focus all the other projects in just one spaceship — meaning that he would pick the better features of the other smaller contracts to make an impressive, advanced and unique capsule.

The SpaceX CEO also said the company would accommodate in the BFR a telescope with a mirror 10 times the size of Hubble’s — with enough room to carry multiple customers at once.

Musk estimates that developing this spaceship would cost around $10 billion, but he did not disclose how much a trip to Mars would cost.

“The launch business is notoriously secretive in terms of prices,” said Brian Weeden, a space expert at the Secure World Foundation, a nonprofit that specializes in space security, “Plus, the price of launching a satellite depends on how much you’re willing to pay, where you want to go — it depends on a lot of stuff.”

Source: The Verge