SpaceX’s ‘Big F***ing Rocket’ (BFR) may not be slated for launch until 2020, but a mini version could take to the skies sooner than expected.
The firm first unveiled the BFR in 2016 and has said the massive launch vehicle is being designed to carry people into deep space.
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SpaceX’s ‘Big F***ing Rocket’ may not be slated for launch until 2022, but a mini version could take to the skies sooner than expected. Elon Musk is planning a mini version of the BFR
‘Mod to SpaceX tech tree build: Falcon 9 second stage will be upgraded to be like a mini-BFR Ship,’ Musk wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.
He added that the firm is ‘aiming for orbital flight by June’ in 2019.
SpaceX hopes to eventually have the BFR replace its current lineup of rockets, so it’s likely eager to get testing underway.
The BFR is a reusable launcher that has a passenger spacecraft attached to the top.
Its spaceship, also referred to as BFS, is capable of carrying up to 100 people and 450 tons of cargo.
SpaceX designed BFR for trips to the moon, Mars and deep space locations.
Musk didn’t clarify how it will modify the Falcon 9 to make it more BFR-like.
However, he noted that during tests, SpaceX will look to see how the rocket’s heat shield and mach control surfaces will fare during launch and flight.
He also said the mini-BFR won’t make a propulsive landing back on Earth.
‘Ultra light heat shield & high Mach control surfaces are what we can’t test well without orbital entry,’ Musk said in a tweet.
‘I think we have a handle on propulsive landings.’
Propulsive landing involves the spacecraft using engines embedded in the rocket to lower itself to the ground.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets have made a propulsive landing about 30 times, according to Space.com.
At nearly 348 feet (106 metres) tall, the BFR is a truly gigantic spaceship, towering over the 229-feet-tall (70 metres) Falcon Heavy rocket. The spaceship will take off and land vertically, powered by 37 ‘raptor’ engines, to produce a liftoff thrust of 5,400 tons, lifting a total mass of 4,400 tons. Pictured, the ship touching down on the red planet
WHAT IS SPACEX’S BFR?
The BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) is SpaceX’s newest rocket, a super powerful launch vehicle with 31 engines and the capacity to lift 150 tons into space.
It has jokingly been called the ‘Big F***ing rocket’ by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
The top part of the BFR rocket has 40 cabins, which could hold up to six passengers.
The rocket would be partially reusable and capable of flight directly from Earth to Mars.
Once built, Musk believes the rocket could be used for travel on Earth – saying that passengers would be able to get anywhere in under an hour.
This image shows the main body tool of SpaceX’s BFR (Big F***ing Rocket) next to a Tesla Model 3 saloon. The tool will be used to build the rocket’s fuselage
The BFR will eventually complete all missions for SpaceX, replacing its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.
Musk said in 2017 he was hopeful that the BFR would be able to launch and land at last two cargo ships on Mars by 2022.
‘I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and launch in about five years,’ Musk said.
The billionaire plans a manned mission in 2024 and claims other SpaceX’s products will be ‘cannibalised’ to pay for it.
The enormous rocket has a fuel tank that can hold 1,200 tons of liquid oxygen.
At nearly 348 feet (106 metres) tall, the BFR is a truly gigantic spaceship, towering over the 229-feet-tall (70 metres) Falcon Heavy rocket.
The spaceship will take off and land vertically, powered by 37 ‘raptor’ engines, to produce a liftoff thrust of 5,400 tons, lifting a total mass of 4,400 tons.
It’s also how the BFS and other spacecrafts will land on Mars, the moon and other destinations.
It comes as SpaceX chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell, 54,confirmed SpaceX’s intentions to launch the BFR for the first time in 2020, with missions to the moon and Mars planned for 2022 and 2024 respectively.
‘We would like to put large cargo on the surface of the moon by 2022,’ she told the Air Force Association’s annual symposium in Maryland.
‘And we have our eyes on the prize to send people to Mars in 2024.’
She admitted those plans might ‘sound crazy, but everything we’ve ever done has sounded crazy to people.’
The top part of the BFR rocket has 40 cabins, which could hold up to six passengers each.