Fly Me To the Moon and Let Me Launch on #BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Last year, SpaceX announced that a pair of wealthy individuals had made a down-payment for a trip to the Moon. Originally, it was to be aboard a modified Crew Dragon launched on a Falcon Heavy, with lessons learned from development plans for Red Dragon, a Mars mission intended to be flown the same way, and at least one actual Commercial Crew flights to the International Space Station. Both the Falcon Heavy and the crew Dragon projects ended up being delayed way too far for a 2018 Lunar tourism mission with that flight hardware.

Well, once NASA partnered with SpaceX on Red Dragon, it was discovered that something about that wasn’t going to work either…something very important that Elon won’t elaborate on. Quite suddenly, all talk of flying the Crew Dragon design on Falcon Heavy to send it outside close Earth orbit were thrown to the wind. Elon said he was going to “cannibalize” both Dragon and Falcon (one can only assume that he meant financially starve those products out) and plans for the massive BFR (Big “Falcon” Rocket) were pushed up. A photo of the 9 meter rocket body mold hit the Internet and property for a new plant at the Port of L.A. was leased for immediate construction of the new rocket.

Our spectacular and long-awaited Falcon Heavy was relegated, mostly, to un-crewed missions for the Air Force and maybe NASA, for the very short-term and Crew Dragon has presumably been down-purposed to LEO only…and maybe just the ISS Commercial Crew contracts. When folks asked if the postponed Moon trip would be planned to fly on BFR or Dragon/Falcon Heavy, Elon said we’d have to see how fast BFR progressed…but his tone said probably BFR.

Now, a big reveal this coming Monday at 6pm for the Moon trip is planned, and the announcement has BFR’s orbitor/lander on the cover, not Dragon.

And…yes…we also get to learn who ponied up the money for the flight. By now, they may even have a BFR orbiter hull or hull segment to show us.

Does anyone here want to bet that more will pay to jump on board that 100 seat behemouth? I think that whatever a flight to the Moon and back on the fully reusable BFR costs, divided by 100, will put it well within the reach of practically any multi-millionaire. I expect to see a sample of Travel Agent Elon on Monday, selling seats for the flight like they were Teslas.

Stay tuned.

 

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~ by Bill Housley on September 13, 2018.

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