Space X is in the process of building one of the biggest rockets ever. This monster rocket was known as BFR and will cost $5 billion to be made -- BFR standing for Big Falcon Rocket (very sneaky there, Elon). The rocket is now being renamed to something less sugestive, but still comically silly.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted late Monday that he has renamed the rocket Starship. The rocket has two major parts -- the first one is now known as “starship”. It’s the part where people or equipment is carried. The second part is the booster that propels it into space -- the booster will now be known as Super Heavy.
Essentially, the new rocket will be called something like the Super Heavy Starship.
The rocket is supposed to be one of the most sustainable interplanetary spaceships. The goal is to replace all the other SpaceX rockets including the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy with this new one. Most rockets in operation at the moment have largely been used to explore our star system. As one Twitter user pointed out replying to Musk’s tweet, the name “Starship” appears to suggest that the new rocket will have the ability to explore deep space way beyond our star system.
This will be a first in space exploration and as Musk pointed out, although at the moment the rocket will focus on explorations within our own star, later versions will have the ability to go over and beyond.
The closest star system to Earth is the Alpha Centauri, located 4.3 light years from the planet.
It’s important to note that the BFR (or Super Heavy Starship) hasn’t been built yet. It’s actually still in early stages of development and it will take years before it’s deployed into space. In addition to this, at the moment it doesn’t seem like the development is part of SpaceX’s priorities. The company is only dedicating about 5% of its resources to this project.
But there is enough optimism that the BFR will be ready soon. In fact, SpaceX has signed up Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as the first private citizen scheduled to take a flight in the BFR once it’s ready. This will be a 240,000 miles journey and the plan is to do it as early as 2023.
SpaceX has done about three designs for the rocket so far. The latest was presented by Elon Musk in September this year. The design suggested the BFR could have a 118-meter long two-stage spaceship that’s fully reusable. The spaceship would have the capacity to carry up to 100 metric tons of payload.
The design is still a working progress, so these details are bound to change in the future. But if the spacecraft launches as planned, it will be one of the biggest steps forward in promoting space tourism and deep space exploration.