SpaceX plans to use spaceships for Earth passenger transit

Darrell Etherington
Elon Musk gave a keynote address yesterday to the International Aeronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

Elon Musk was at IAC showing off his ambitious plan to ultimately make Earth an interplanetary species, and one of the new pieces of his plan he revealed was Earth-to-Earth transport using SpaceX rockets to cut down trips to almost anywhere on Earth in under an hour, and to most destinations in under 30 minutes.

The plan would essentially fly passengers up to an altitude where the craft would encounter virtually no resistance from air or wind, which would dramatically increase potential speed and efficiency in terms of fuel use.

Some of the flight times SpaceX displayed during its presentation include 22 minutes for Hong Kong to Singapore, 24 minutes from LA to Toronto, 25 minutes from LA to New York, and just 30 minutes from New York to Paris.

The demo video that SpaceX showed of this in action included an animation depicting passengers going aboard a rocket atop a launch pad in the middle of a body of water, ferried by a large futuristic looking boat. The rocket then exits Earth's atmosphere, the booster returns to Earth and the passenger capsule continues on to its destination at a max speed of 27,000 km/h (around 16,777 mph).

Once it arrives, it executes a landing not unlike the current Falcon 9 first stage at another landing/launch pad, where passengers disembark.


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