The BFR: SpaceX’s Plan to Get to Mars

BFR = Big Falcon Rocket

Its 2018 and almost 2019, and SpaceX has been preparing for this for years. 10, 9, 8, … Elon Musk and Gwynne Shotwell and all the other smart, gritty and brave people in mission control are all biting their lips, 7, 6, 5, … they are testing the reusable rocket boosters and landing gear. 4, 3, 2, 1, liftoff!


After six successful rocket booster landings, Elon Musk started to think about how they were really going to get to Mars. Even with 28,730,000 pounds of thrust to get the rocket to parking orbit, the trip to Mars is 54.6 million kilometers away and will take about 300 day to get there. How will we have enough fuel to get to Mars after we burned a big part of it getting to parking orbit? This is how: the rocket booster that separates after the front of the spaceship and reaches parking orbit, then it lands back down on the launch pad and refuels and a tanker spaceship is loader on top of the booster and is flown back to the other space shuttle. Then the tanker refuels the space shuttle and then it continues its trip to Mars with enough fuel. Yes yes, you might think, “Oh, Elon’s so great and awesome.”  Let me assure you he is, it’s just that when he released the date for the launch and the design for the rocket, he left out how we are going to colonize Mars and the technology we need. There’s one thing we’re sure of: SpaceX is good at rockets but not so much housing technology and making up how we’re going to breath, eat and drink on Mars.


by Luca Sella ’24

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