Elon Musk hatches plan for spaceflight vehicle that doubles as an Earthbound airliner

Elon Musk has revised his concept Mars spacecraft plan. It will now be a spacecraft capable of flying to Mars, the Moon, and the International Space Station, and might even provide super-fast flights to and from cities here on Earth.
By Mae Owen | Sep 30, 2017
Elon Musk saidFridaythat his space-flight company SpaceX could transport human flight crews to Mars and that he is willing to "cannibalize" all its other flight vehicles and product lines in order to fund itincluding its vehicles that currently fly missions to the International Space Station. Speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Musk presented the dramatic resource re-allocation as part of his revised plan to achieve human travel to Mars.

"All the resources that are being used for Falcon 9, Heavy, and Dragon can be applied to this system," Musk said, referring to three existing SpaceX rocket-powered space vehicles. "That's really fundamental. We believe that we can do this with the revenue that we receive for launching satellites and for servicing the station."

Musk proposed an Interplanetary Transport System space vehicle that could theoretically take humans to the Red Planet in the future at the same forum last year. InFriday'spresentation, he described a more compact version of this vehicle, which he said could carry up to 100 passengers.

Mars travel won't be this vehicle's only use, however. Musk plans to also use it for all of SpaceX's other existing space flights, starting with the present-day supply runs to and from the International Space Station. The new vehicle might additionally fly crews to the Moon to establish a moon base.

The vehicle might even work for fast travel on Earth. Musk said that the new vehicle will be capable of traveling from any one city on our planet to another in under an hour and render commercial airliners as we know them obsolete.

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