SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed his audacious interplanetary travel system in the last week of September during the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. In a nutshell, his plan (which is separate from the hyperloop) is to send rockets to low-Earth orbit and land them back on Earth at a different location, all for the price of an economic airline ticket.
If executed perfectly, the new plan could enable anyone to travel to any location on Earth in less than an hour. London to New York in 30 minutes, Hong Kong to Singapore in 22, LA to Toronto in 24, Dubai to London in 29. The BFR, the Big F***ing Rocket, will carry passengers and reach max speeds of 27,000 km/h (16,777 m/h). The BFR will be primarily used for interstellar travel to the Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies, but could also be used for Earth-to-Earth travel.
The process is theoretical, but quite simple. SpaceX’s aforementioned upcoming mega-rocket will wait at a launchpad near a city, either on land or sea. Passengers will go to a launchpad and enter the BFR astronaut-style and launch 2000 km (1,200 miles) into low-Earth orbit. The BFR will then descend and land on another designated launchpad.
Although Elon Musk claims the BFR can travel to any point on Earth in less than an hour, it is important to note that this particular rocket needs a pad to land on. Since SpaceX is not going to build a pad everywhere, one can safely assume that travel between megacities is the most likely scenario in which SpaceX will execute this process. Additionally, in traditional rocket lift-offs, there is no pilot. Once the ship is in a micro-gravity environment, however, a pilot is chosen to guide the ship. The BFR will technically travel through space, so it is unclear whether a pilot will be used - Musk did not make this clear in his presentation. Other unclear details involve how such travel will affect people, how much of the air market it plans to conquer, and how it would be regulated, so our hard team at Lion’s Roar will inform you when further details are given.