At a press conference in Australia today, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced his plans to focus the company on BFR. Endearingly, "BFR" is short for "Big Fucking Rocket," and developing it is vital to the company's goals of reaching both the moon and Mars. That aside, at the end of his presentation he showed another potential application for BFR: As a replacement for airliners.
Traveling by rocket rather than jet would get the travel time between most world cities to 30 minutes or less, Musk reckons, and could get you "anywhere on Earth in under an hour." Here's how it would work:
"Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft," Musk wrote on Instagram. "Forgot to mention that."
How is that possible? Maybe SpaceX can save a few bucks by paying flight attendants by the hour.
Seriously though, New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes is insane. You can spend three times that long just trying to get from Manhattan to Greenpoint in Brooklyn, and you don't even leave Earth's atmosphere.