Elon Musk: We Will Travel “Anywhere on Earth in Under an Hour” with the BFR

Few innovators have proven more influential to 21st-century technology — in particular, travel and transportation technology — than Elon Musk. Every time the South African-born pioneer opens his mouth, it’s to reveal some revolutionary tech that will take us farther, faster, and better (remember the Hyperloop One?). His latest announcement at this year’s International Astronautical Congress in Australia was no different.

The main thrust (pun intended) of the speech was to clarify his revised plan for a manned mission to Mars in 2024 via SpaceX’s reusable rocket technology. But the most exciting news, or the one that matters to us right now, is that his company will make use of this same technology to redefine the future of commercial air travel. He bottom-lined it with a bold promise: future air passengers will soon be able to travel “anywhere on Earth in under an hour” with “most long-distance trips” doable in just 30 minutes via what he’s code-named the BFR (which stands for “Big Falcon Rocke” or “Big F***ing Rocket” — take your pick). The best part? Musk promises this will all be available for roughly the same price as an international economy class airline ticket.

The promotional video above, which accompanied his talk, helped to drive the point home. The video depicts passengers boarding a shuttle ferry in Manhattan, bound for a floating launchpad just offshore. A board nearby reveals the Shanghai-bound SpaceX rocket has an expected travel time of just 39 minutes. The flight launches into orbit, topping out at 16,800 mph., and lands safely in Shanghai on a similar launchpad. For reference, Musk noted other flight times including London to Dubai in 29 minutes, and Toronto to Los Angeles in 24 minutes. Each BFR flight is expected to ferry about 100 passengers divided among 40 cabins.

Of course, the proof is in the aeronautical pudding. For the moment, all this technology is merely theoretical. There are still some seriously tough questions yet to be answered. The most obvious: How will “average humans” (read: non-astronauts) cope with traveling at speeds of more than 16,000 mph.? Whatever the answer, Musk has a way of turning the impossible into reality, and he announced construction on the project would begin within nine months.

Feature image courtesy of SpaceX/YouTube.


Explore On- and Off-Road With Garmin’s All-Terrain Overlander GPS

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

6 Ways to Cool Down Your Home Without Air Conditioning

No AC this summer? No Problem.

12 Best Travel Backpacks to Take With You on the Road

No matter where you're going or for how long, travel backpacks are the single most versatile type of luggage available.
Food & Drink

Elysian Brewing Celebrates Moon Landing Anniversary with Special Labels

Plenty of brands are celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of humankind’s biggest achievements, but these new labels are out of this world.

Find the Most Unique, Undiscovered Campsites in the U.S. With Hipcamp

Booking the perfect campsite doesn't have to suck anymore.

12 Most Over-the-Top Hotel Pools for Extravagant Views

From an infinity pool high above Santorini to a two-story waterhole in the rainforests of Bali, these are the best hotel pools across the globe.

You Need a Vacation: 5 Midwestern Camp-Style Lodges Where You Can Unplug

Believe it or not, rustic woodland getaways still exist. We've pulled together a shortlist of the finest hotels located within some of the country's most beautiful, largely overlooked natural settings.

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet?

Travelers Can Now Bring Some CBD Products on Airplanes (Sort of)

Technically, the TSA is cool with it, but like everything the government touches, it's not as simple as it appears.

This New York Hotel Is Actually a 3D-Printed Mars Habitat

We can't yet escape the sea of humanity here on Earth, but this might be the next best thing.

What Americans Need to Know Before Traveling to Cuba

Heading to Cuba? Don't be caught unprepared -- here are the essential things every American should know.

Trek the Arctic Circle Like a WWII Soldier with Ex-U.K. Special Forces

Because some travelers appreciate doing a hard thing just for the sheer pride of knowing they did it.

Sweden’s Viking-Inspired Arctic Bath Is Now Taking Reservations

This retro-future, floating hotel spa is straight out of Westeros.

Help Wanted: An Idyllic Scottish Island Is Looking for a Sheep Dike Repairman

If you love sheep, idyllic islands, Scottish accents, and mending walls, there's a job in Scotland with your name on it.