Elon Musk wants to use rockets... on Earth

Elon Musk is sort of 'that guy' on Twitter these days, spit-balling ideas that are so outlandish they verge on parody frequently. Today, he's posted a series of videos about his next big idea: Earth-based rocket travel.

Musk thinks he can feasibly make it possible to get from Auckland, New Zealand to London, UK in less than an hour — and plans to use this new form of travel to fund an even loftier goal: a 2024 mission to Mars.

As a result, SpaceX is apparently refocusing almost all of its energies into a single new rocket: the BFR. In theory, the premise works: BFR would be used for both short haul (on Earth) flights and long haul (to Mars) but it's a massive shift of resources for the company.

SpaceX achieved what's basically unthinkable in the last few years: a privately owned launch system that can reliably be re-used by landing it on a literal boat in the middle of the ocean.

That idea, back then, was outlandish but now seems kind of boring since it's become somewhat normal (oh, just another tiny rocket self-landing itself on a self-driving boat in the ocean, yeah).

BFR is an even more technical version of the current Falcon rocket, which is only partially reusable. With the new model, the entire machine would be reused and no part jettisoned or wasted, ultimately bringing costs down long term.

The key to this all-new-insane-but-ok-plan is that Musk needs to somehow deliver consistently to his business customers like NASA and the US Air Force without upsetting them, and a big change like the BFR could disrupt that immense launch schedule.

Hey, it's cool that we're doing space stuff again nonetheless. Every time I've watched a SpaceX launch I've been excited that space is something we're interested in again, even if the road to Mars is a long one.

Other news

Events: Google's Pixel 2 event is being held on October 4 in San Francisco, and I'll be there covering it for you! Expect some super detailed coverage of the event where there's likely to be a bunch of new Google Home devices, updated Pixels and other surprises.

This is our first event I'll be attended as Charged so I'm super excited to bring that coverage to you here on October 4! 🚀