Modern day P.T. Barnum Elon Musk and his SpaceX are slowly pulling back the curtain on what may very well become the sci-fi circus of the future.
The first step in Musk’s grand plan to commercialize interplanetary travel and put Earthlings on the red planet has been unveiled. The plan so far; to send Japanese fashion magnate Yusaku Maezawa around the Moon and back to Earth.
SpaceX expects to accomplish this feat with their Big Falcon Rocket, a massive ship powered by 31 Raptor engines, which will produce the incredible horsepower needed to eventually propel 100 passengers in the ship’s 40 cabins into space.
We can’t help but be impressed with the early designs we’ve seen of the ship that somehow meld our nostalgic love of old NASA and the Apollo missions with trimmings plucked from the world of sci-fi.
The lunar orbiting mission SpaceX is currently outlining is only the first stepping stone in the company’s larger goal of regular transit to Mars, facilitating humanity’s habitation of our neighboring planet. These are ambitious plans, but they're even more ambitious when you hear that SpaceX’s timelines include unmanned missions to Mars by 2022 followed by human missions in 2024.
Let that sink in; you might actually be bouncing in the lighter gravity of the Martian surface in a little more than five years time.
While that may seem far-fetched, SpaceX’s first signed, sealed and (hopefully) delivered passenger may be less skeptical. Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX announced on social media, is getting the first crack at christening the Big Falcon Rocket’s staterooms. SpaceX’s announcement highlighted Maezawa as a fashion innovator and art curator, though they do conveniently forget to mention he’s also a billionaire.
Let’s hope Maezawa doesn’t spoil the Big Falcon Rocket for the rest of us because we're sure there will plenty of people lined up to follow in his footsteps.