Would You Ride a SpaceX Rocket out of New York Harbor?

SpaceX future-ferry
SpaceX future-ferry via SpaceX on Youtube

In a new video, SpaceX presents a concept of rocket travel, dramatically reducing intercontinental travel times.

If SpaceX has their way, you may be blasting off from New York Harbor on a trip across the world using technology developed for launching spacecraft into orbit.

SpaceX has been launching their Falcon 9 rocket and landing both on land and at sea, and now they are theorizing that the same technology can be used to shorten passenger travel and connect any two points on Earth in under an hour.

In the concept video, passengers board a futuristic ferry at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan, cruise out to a launch platform, then load into the top part of a large rocket. After takeoff, the first stage of the rocket detaches and returns to the launch site after propelling the passenger vehicle high into the atmosphere, similar to how the Falcon 9 delivers cargo to the International Space Station or deploys satellites into orbit. Instead, the passenger vehicle glides across the earth and uses its own engines to soften the landing on another floating platform at the destination. Total time from New York to Shanghai: 39 minutes. Maximum speed during the trip: Over 16,000 miles per hour.

After having already built a presence in commercial space delivery, SpaceX could see massive profits by providing travel between any two cities in under an hour, with many trips less than 30 minutes, by their estimates. The final goal of beginning passenger travel is to fund the larger SpaceX plan to colonize Mars.

Watch the full presentation by Elon Musk at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia (Earth travel section starts around 40m30s)


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