Elon Musk Renames His BFR Spacecraft Starship
SAN FRANCISCO – November 20. 2018
Elon Musk has changed the name of his forthcoming passenger spaceship from Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) to Starship.
To be more precise, the Starship will be the name of only part of the new SpaceX ship. The launch vehicle that will send Starship into space will be called Super Heavy.
Technically, two parts: Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2018
One of his Twitter followers noted that as long as the spacecraft does not go on a mission to another star system, it cannot be called “star.” Musk replied that later versions will cope with this task.
Later versions will— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2018
In September, Musk’s SpaceX company announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa had signed up to be the first passenger to travel on the ship.
The mission is planned for 2023 if the spaceship is built in time.
It is the craft’s fourth name — it started out as Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) and then became Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) before becoming BFR.
Over the weekend, Musk tweeted that the spaceship was being redesigned, saying the new version was “very exciting. Delightfully counter-intuitive.”
Starship is due to eventually replace the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy ships and will cost an estimated $5 billion to build.
Musk’s plan is for Starship to take people into space on commercial flights around the Moon and Maezawa would be his first “moon tourist.”
However, he will not land on the Moon but will travel on what is called a “free return trajectory,” which will bring Starship back to Earth after it has gone around the far side of the Moon.
He did not reveal any details of the new design for the craft, but had previously said it would be able to transport up to 100 passengers to Mars.