All bow down Elon Musk, first of his name, king of the engineering, breaker of technology, father of mechanics and now, maybe the uniter of the seven continents, if his plan for rocket travel takes off. He plans to create ‘Commercial Space Transportation’.
A video demonstration of City to City Rocket traveling presented by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
During his keynote speech at last month’s meeting of the International Astronautical Congress, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk laid out his plan for city-to-city rocket service. It would be the fastest commercial transit ever created and just might not be as far-fetched as it seems. It is the first time when someone came up with a ‘Commercial Space Transportation System”.
Let us have a look at his plan
Your day might start like this. You wake to a barrage of email and texts: Your boss wants you at an urgent meeting in London early this afternoon. It’s morning, and you’re in New York City. So you grab an Uber downtown, board a ferry to the SpaceX platform in New York harbor…
Then things get interesting.
On the platform stands a 350-foot rocket, nicknamed BFR for “big f**king rocket.” You ride an elevator up to the cabin, strap in alongside 100 other passengers, and take to the skies with a roar. You feel weightless as you soar over the curve of the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, 10 times the speed of the Concorde supersonic jet.
Twenty-nine minutes later, you touch down on an identical platform near the port of London. Another ferry, another car, and you make it to the meeting — fresh and on-time.
Sounds hilarious, isn’t it? But it is said that good things are always difficult to achieve. ‘Will it be the safest means of transportation?’ , the most important question that arises when we talk about commercial space transportation.
Is Commercial Space Transportation possible?
Of course, it will be the fastest means of commercial space transportation system made on the planet Earth ever. But, we all know that it’s going to be expensive and complicated. Yes, anywhere where on earth within an hour but is it worth and safe enough. Can someone risk his life and spent a lot just to save his time.
Let’s say Musk nails down all the rocket tech and ensures the things can take off and land safely 100 percent of the time, or acceptably close to it. Let’s say he figures out how to keep them full of fuel and puts all his effort to reduce the cost of commercial space transportation. And then he gets to tackle the real problems. Some of the problems going to be faced by commercial space transportation are as follows:-
- To get passengers through the crushing g-forces that come with takeoff and landing. The weightless period in the middle may be cool, but it’s not exactly a work environment business travelers will enjoy.
- Running anything more than the occasional flight would require an unprecedented integration with the national airspace system, to keep the rockets from taking out planes the way planes take out birds. “From a regulatory point of view, it’s going to be very difficult.”
- Building launch pads at sea assuage concerns about annoying city dwellers with the noise, sonic booms, and vibrations that come with hurling rockets into the sky, but brings up another concern.
- The flight itself may be brief, but forcing customers to get to the ocean in the first place could easily add hours to trip time. And it’s hard to see rockets serving any major city that’s not near an ocean or lake, like Paris, Berlin, New Delhi, Denver, Riyadh, or Johannesburg.
These are the few hurdles which SpaceX has to face while figuring out the solution to the fastest means of transportation. Being a Mechanical Engineer I support him and hope Elon comes out with a proper solution like he always does.