By now, we’re all pretty well aware of Elon Musk’s ambition to take human beings to Mars, and according to his talk at SXSW, that might be coming closer than we think. The SpaceX founder indicated that the space travel company plans on testing their BFR rocket system, which is supposedly capable of traveling to Mars, by as early as the first half of 2019. While Musk did acknowledge that this estimate was “optimistic,” it seems fairly reasonable considering SpaceX plans on sending cargo missions to Mars by 2022.
Similarly to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, everything that makes up the BFR rocket system is entirely reusable, albeit way, way more powerful. The BFR will be using a total of 37 Raptor engines (31 on the booster and 6 on the rocket itself) and can carry up to 150 tons of cargo, five times more than the Falcon Heavy. As of right now, the company only plans on performing “short up-and-down flights” instead of shooting right up to the Moon or Mars, but this is certainly a sign of more huge things to come from SpaceX in the near future.