SpaceX Goes All In On The Big Freaking Rocket. Humans To Mars by 2024?


Hook:
Elon gave us all an update on SpaceX’s plans to colonize Mars, build a base on the Moon,
and let people travel anywhere across the planet in around 30 minutes. And it all depends on the BFR. The Big, uh, Freaking Rocket. Introduction:
For the last couple of episodes, we’ve talked about NASA’s plans to explore deep space,
with the Space Launch System and the Deep Space Gateway. That’s fine and all, but many of you wanted
to know how all this would compare to what SpaceX is planning for the colonization of
space. It had been a while since we got an update
from Elon Musk, but on Friday we got a big announcement from the SpaceX CEO, and it kind
of makes your head spin. At the International Astronautical Congress
in Australia – the home of the newly announced Australian Space Agency, congrats Australia,
you totally deserved it. What what I saying? Oh right, at the IAC, Elon Musk announced
what they’ve been working on since last year’s announcement of the Interplanetary
Transport Ship. All of SpaceX’s current rocket fleet: the
Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy, the Dragon spacecraft, it’s all going to be made obsolete by their
“all in” investment to build the one rocket that’ll do everything: the BFR. Address the question:
The BFR looks very similar to the previously announced Interplanetary Transport System
ship that we saw last year, but a little bit smaller. It’ll stand 106 metres high, with a mass
of 4,400 metric tons. About half the height comes from the first
stage booster, and then the rest of the height comes from the second stage spaceship attached
to the top. The booster is equipped with 31 Raptor engines,
which will blast off from the reusable launch platform. Then the spaceship portion will separate and
continue up to orbit using its own rockets. Both the booster and ship segments of the
vehicle are designed to be reusable, which means they can land, be refueled with methane
and liquid oxygen, and then stacked up for another flight. The BFR spaceship won’t even have landing
legs. SpaceX is so confident on their ability to
land that the rocket will return precisely to its launch structure, and be clamped down
before it falls over. In its proposed configuration, the BFR should
be capable of delivering 150 tonnes into low Earth orbit. Compare this to 22 tonnes for the Falcon 9
and you can see this is an enormous boost in launch capability. In fact, this is even more than the Saturn
V or the Space Launch System in its Block 2 capacity. But the BFR will be fully reusable. The lower booster stage will return to its
launch mount, and the upper stage can too. If the rocket is launched without reusability
in mind, it’ll be able to loft 250 tonnes. Here’s where it gets really interesting. The ship is equipped with 2 thrusters used
in atmosphere and 4 thrusters used in vacuum. It can make a powered landing back on Earth,
using either of its redundant thrusters. Or it could make a powered landing on a world
with much less atmosphere, like the Moon, Mars, or I don’t know… Europa? There are a bunch of features that Musk announced,
which will make the BFR a very useful vehicle for a variety of missions. It’ll have fully automated rendezvous and
docking, which means that upper stages will be capable of docking together, and transferring
fuel. One ship could launch, fully loaded with the
crew and life support supplies, while a second spacecraft could launch with the fuel. Then they could dock, transfer fuel, and the
crewed vehicle could fly to the Moon or Mars carrying dozens of people. The spaceship has a massive cargo capacity,
which means that it can launch satellites with a 9-meter diameter. The Hubble Space Telescope is only 2.6 meters
in diameter, and James Webb will be 6.5 metres in diameter. In other words, bigger and heavier than anything
else in space right now. For humans going to space, the BFR spaceship
will contain 825 cubic meters of pressurized volume, enough room for 40 cabins, common
areas, central storage, and a kitchen. It’ll even have a shelter to protect the
crew from solar storms that might be passing through the area. Just for comparison, this is the same as the
internal volume of the entire International Space Station, but in one launch, fully reusable. Again, the mind boggles. Patreon Bumper
Now you know what the BFR is and how it’s going to work, it’s time to talk about what
SpaceX is going to do with it. But first I’d like to thank: Cat Stevens
Aireyean (Air-Re-Yin) Smith Francis Frey And the rest of our 777 patrons for their
generous support. If you love what we’re doing and want to
get in on the action, head over to patreon.com/universetoday. Bend their minds:
What can be done with a rocket this big? During his announcement, Musk gave us a few
hints. For starters, obviously, the rocket will be
used for delivering cargo and satellites to space. In fact, the even though it’ll be the largest
rocket ever built, its reusability will bring the launch costs down below the current Falcon
9. With its vacuum and atmospheric engines, the
BFR spaceship could be sent to the Moon, to support the new resurgence of interest in
going back to the Moon. Of course, Musk wants to see the BFR go to
Mars. When the BFR spaceship refuels in space, it
should be able to carry 450 tonnes of crew and cargo to the surface of the Red Planet. Once there, solar powered generators will
be able to make rocket fuel from water and carbon dioxide to power a return trip to Earth. In fact, this same process would be making
fuel here on Earth, using a carbon neutral solar power to make methane. If all goes well, SpaceX will launch its first
two uncrewed BFRs to Mars in 2022, to test out the technology and search for deposits
of water on Mars. Those will be followed by 4 more in 2024 including
a human crew, who will begin the creation of the new Mars colony. And I’m not going to lie, this sounds like
a stretch. SpaceX needs to build and test an entirely
new reusable rocket system at a scale we’ve never seen before. In addition to that, they need to develop
the technology for extracting fuel on Mars. And to make the 2024 launch window, they need
to develop all the various hardware and techniques for actually living on Mars: power, fuel,
plumbing, electronics, closed-loop air systems. Not to mention training astronauts to survive
in an environment humans have never even set foot on. Even if the BFR does arrive on schedule, I
suspect all these details will bog engineers down for decades. How will SpaceX pay for the development of
the BFR and colonization equipment. Musk said they’ll be funding it with upcoming
private and government contracts. And they’re going “all in”, sunsetting
all the older rocket models, including the Falcon 9 and the still, yet to be launched
Falcon Heavy. They’ll keep a few of the old Falcon rockets
around if a customer wants to launch on old flight-tested hardware. But perhaps the strangest way they could fund
the development of the BFR is with Earth-to-Earth suborbital rocket launches carrying travelers
from place to place here on Earth. In a slick video, SpaceX showed how the BFR
could carry people from pretty much any city to any other city on Earth in around 30 minutes. Although Musk didn’t say exactly how much
this’ll cost, he’s hinted that the price will be roughly the cost of a similar economy
airline flight. And with the redundant rocket engines, he
thinks these suborbital flights should be as safe as commercial airlines. And that’s where I’m going to get really
really skeptical. Rockets are pretty much controlled explosions. Suborbital flights are still going at thousands
of kilometers per hour, and any mistake means destruction and death of everyone on board. There’s a lot of work to be done to make
these things truly safe and affordable. Probably not within the timeframe to get that
Mars colony up and running. There is another idea that SpaceX is working
on, however, that I think will cover the costs: high speed internet for everyone on the planet. Earlier this year SpaceX announced that they’re
working on a constellation of nearly 5,000 satellites that will go into low Earth orbit. These would fly at an altitude of 1,100 km
or higher and deliver the same kind of bandwidth as a broadband fiber optic line. Imagine what kinds of revenue SpaceX could
generate if they could supply competitive internet to every single human on Earth? And this kind of constellation could be done
with just a dozen launches of the BFR. In fact, that’s what I think SpaceX is betting
on. If they can truly build a fully reusable rocket,
bringing launch costs down to a fraction of their current levels, we have no idea what
ideas suddenly become affordable. Space based power generation? Asteroid mining? Space tourism? Suborbital flights? Interplanetary colonization? Conclusion:
Is this really going to happen? Obviously, we need to be skeptical. The promises Elon Musk made about the BFR
are mind bending. Humans on Mars by 2024? Come on! At the same time, we need to look at the 16
rockets that landed back safely back on Earth as proof that SpaceX has some skills when
it comes to building and flying rockets. And yet the Falcon Heavy is years behind schedule,
with SpaceX planning to retire this rocket before it even gets built. We know that SpaceX has seen its share of
failures and setbacks, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy before getting into the launch
business. We’ve seen their rockets explode, and fail
to land safely on Earth. But even if things take longer than planned. Even decades longer than planned, I think
it’s an amazing path Musk is proceeding on, and I can’t wait to see what happens
next. And as Musk said in his announcement, “having
a multi-planet species would be better than a single-planet species. It would be cool.” Cool works for me. Ask for Comments:
How do you feel about this announcement? Do you think SpaceX will pull it off? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Next Episode:
In our next episode, we’ll be talking about where comets come from, and what could cause
them to come hurling down into the Solar System Suggested Playlist
Time for your playlist, all about the new SpaceX announcement, of course. First, we’ll start with Elon Musk’s actual
announcement, then the cool video they did about point-to-point travel on Earth. Then a reminder of last year’s Interplanetary
Transport System announcement. A hilarious video of rocket failures. Finally Scott Manley’s take on the announcement.

57 thoughts on “SpaceX Goes All In On The Big Freaking Rocket. Humans To Mars by 2024?

  1. I think musk should take it easy on the launch dates and everything because we are sending humans to mars and it is going to take months to get thee so they need to be able to test the rocket and all the danger they will encounter in their trip to Mars

  2. You must be brain dead to belive that this is the future of human transport xD
    No goverment would allow that crazy thing to pollute the planet even more.

  3. US President Elon Musk and the First President of Mars Elon Musk. Tesla will be the only car company on Mars. Elon is in a rush because World War 3 will happen on February 22, 2032 and 40% of everyone on Earth will die from the global war by the end of it. The Moon will be made into a Space Station.

  4. Carlos Encarnacion: Amazing projects. Space commercialization would be the best and fastest idea to spread human specie from a single planet specie to a multi planets specie.Is not a good idea to have all eggs (human specie) within same basket. I think NASA although efficiently is moving slow and the only way to speed and make this venture more vigorous profitable and interesting would be space commercialization .This would become a new industry and a paradise for future potential stock investors. As usual the worm that awakes earlier gets bets worms. Chinese will try by all means to be ahead on this venture. I would buy stocks.

  5. If the Starship architecture is made as safe as airliners, lives will still be lost. It is an inevitability that eventually something will go horribly wrong. But, this is no reason to stop flying airliners. After years of upgrades it will become safer and safer to venture into space.

  6. we pay for it with the hardwork and sweat of humans and the resources that the earth holds, money is an illusion.

  7. It's a great pitch and a nice dream. Way too ambitious though as the dream out-paces the economic, social and significant technical aspects as currently iterated objectives would probably only be realized beyond this generation. If our species survives, then it should occur sooner than later (80 – 150 years).

  8. … And, as just one example, how is this thing going to remain upright when it touches down onto the soft regolith of the moon or mars without toppling over or an uneven surface??? No nice little friendly landing pads waiting for it like here on earth. To quote the mythical character Peter Pan, who magically flew around on fairy dust and appropriately to those who's brains are pickled by the world of Sci-Fi: "OK everybody, here we goooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

  9. 3:28 Of note, this refueling method was used by the British RAF when they sent Vulcans against the Falkland Islands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Black_Buck

  10. Spacex is good but your choice of words is not. "Freaking" is a twist on "Fucking" in case you didn't know. It is more than a little vulgar. I will not watch your channel if you are going to be so common. Don't you realize some children might be watching? Do you want to teach them in this way? Thumbs down.

  11. Chemical engineer and NASA’s oldest active astronaut at age 62, Don Petitt says, “I’d go to the moon in a nanosecond. The problem is we don’t have the technology to do that anymore. We used to but we destroyed that technology and it’s a painful process to build it back again.”

  12. Hi Fraser

    Avid watcher and recent subscriber … Your videos are very informative
    I have a small question : The International Space Station was assembled in space because it was too heavy and a lot of energy would be required for lift off but The BFR’ s mass makes it heavier than that of the current International Space Station! Any idea on how this could actually work? Thanks

  13. In my opinion without Space X the United States would be losing the 21st century space race to China. The moral around U.S spaceflight right now would be low without them. Space X has inspired the publics imagination with their rapid progress. It is akin to the rapid growth of the U.S space program during the 1960s.

  14. I don't expect SpaceX to succeed but there's a part of me that's still hopeful. I can't help but think about Apollo 8, and how sometimes who set wild goals actually achieve them.

  15. TRUST BUT VERIFY – Dreamers keep us going . . . for a time there it looked like NASA was cutting back one everything. Dreams are great to have, but as Captain Picard said, "MAKE IT SO".

  16. I didn't watch this video. Reminding , already metric tones of scrap up there in space pleas don't shift meterials from earth. Some waist will be balance here. And me

  17. Elon is really an amazing guy! He is really smart and enthusiastic about everything his interest are into. You just can’t stop this fellow even if you try. I am a believer in Elon! He’s making plans of earning the revenues that it would take to capture his bigger dreams of putting a colony on Mars. I haven’t seen anyone else come close to compete with him. He’s a big dreamer and a bigger doer.

  18. Crazy people, running from miracle planet Earth where we can do so many relaxing things, but head to colonize empty and desolate planet. Technology, science exploration yes.

  19. The only problem with establishing human colonies on Mars or the moon is when people start having kids. Have you ever tried to "child proof" your house? Good luck with child proofing the colony.

  20. People on mars 2024 no way. I hope to see people on mars in my lifetime, I am 47 and if I had 5 dollars and had to bet, 1dollar yes 1 dollar no and 3 in my pocket sound right.

  21. Well its 2019…and there isn't eve ship built yet…so at this rate there won't be enough ships by 2024 to make a colony…enough to place some robots and get a few habitats built by the robots…people by 2024 seems unlikely at this rate…

  22. The price of travel being at the same price of a plane ticket doesnt seem likely…if the first trip costs around 60 million a seat…

  23. This is the spacecraft that the people of my generation were all promised and now finally those of us who have survived this long long journey may actually finally see the construction of our dream ship excellent well done Elon Musk finally we are beginning to get there brilliant.

  24. I want my Mars rock collection / or I just I’ll have to settle for the pieces of slag on the railroad tracks that look like Mars rock

  25. And why are we so anxious to go to Mars again? Oh, because it's…. 'cool'.
    What else would be cool..? Making a decent living. Not dying of cancer. A higher standard of living. Preserving natural land and animals. An educated population. Mature, dignified politicians whom we can respect.

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