Elon Musk presents his plan for space transport in Adelaide. This means a BFR rocket will launch from NY, for example, detach from the rocket booster and head towards a landing pad in Shanghai and propulsively land in under 40 minutes. The spaceship then headed for Shanghai. The closely-held space exploration company flies its Falcon 9 rocket for customers that include Nasa, commercial satellite operators and the U.S. military.
The answer, Musk said, had a lot to do with simplifying the companies lineup, and rendering redundant some of its current products.
The same rocket technology could also be used on Earth, Musk added, and showed a promotional video of a rocket transporting passengers from New York City to Shanghai. But he also proposed using these same new "B-F-R's" for "city to city" travel right here on earth and for the same price as an economy plane ticket.
The first human travellers would depart in 2024, where they would be able to set up a solar-powered plant that would produce propellant to return them to earth.
Musk said it could also be used to dock with the International Space Station, in addition to being used to get cargo and people to Mars and the Moon.
Musk says that his vision is more than just a concept on paper, with the components for the first ship already on order and assembly scheduled to begin next year. The simulation - complete with a terraformed Mars at the end that looks more green than the familiar red - could be straight out of science fiction, but then, no one thought for a long time that reusing rockets was possible either.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is back in Adelaide to deliver updates on two key projects - his plan for a mission to Mars and building the world's largest lithium-ion battery. Most destinations would take less than half that time.
He said: "Going to Mars should be our big goal". If all goes according to plan with no delays, which is nearly unheard of in the space industry, four more ships would launch in 2024 with two of them crewed.
"What if you take that same ship and go from one place to another on Earth?"