The Votes Are In: Elon Musk’s BFR Point-to-Point Plan is Wackadoodle

The people have spoken. And, by a narrow margin, they think that Elon Reeve Musk’s BFR point-to-point commercial travel plan is wackadoodle.

There were 129 votes for Wackadoodle — It’ll Never Happen, which represents 28 percent of the total.

Great Idea — But I Have REALLY Serious Doubts came in a close second with 171 votes (27 percent).

Awesome Sauce — Let’s Do It! came in third with 26 percent or 165 votes.

That was followed by Great Idea — But I have Some Doubts (115 votes, 18 percent) and Not Sure (13 votes, 2 percent).

I want to thank all the Parabolic Archers who voted. Please remember to vote in our new poll. And remember: vote early! Vote often! Just vote, dammit! Vote!

 

  • Robert G. Oler

    The airlines will not do P2P thats just a fantasy…at least for 40 years…

  • Michael Halpern

    Maybe small improvements of F9 after block 5 but under the assumption that they get block 5 as advertised, or nearly so, they don’t really need to develop it much further, and doing so will divert r&d budget from BFR, remember the only other company that is seriously attempting a similar rlv to F9 that is set to come out in the next 5 years, and that is BO, that gives them plenty of time to make the money for BFR development, F9/H will be a more established system by that time, my guess is that the 2nd stage f9 recovery will have a similar profile to bfs re-entry. They learned a lot about rocket development from the challenges that FH had, as for when BFR come out, it’s too early to say, my bet is mid 2020s P2P some point later, the parts that don’t experience the extremes that the engine, heat shield, landing legs and grid fins we can reasonably predict the lifetime of, they have to do what they can to get it out before the 2030s as that’s likely when everyone will have medium to low super heavy RLS systems about to come out and sled launch, air launch and spaceplanes will be taking the small launch market, in my view. When they have serious competition in those areas, F9 will not be what they want be relying on, otherwise they repeat what almost happened to Ford with their over extended dedication to the Model T, when the conventional lift reusable launch market starts getting competitive they have to set themselves appart and raise the bar.

  • Michael Halpern

    Well for one it won’t be the airlines, SpaceX won’t sell their rockets, they might coordinate with them, then there is the fact that they will prove bfr in space industry first, and finally the fact that the airlines are constantly looking for better ways to transport their customers quickly and are already looking at air P2P and more direct travel, they could coordinate with SpaceX once BFR becomes not just safe and reliable but has nearly no chance of a launch scrub for international travel, they will start with cargo P2P especially once they have enough of them to handle weekly launches between US coasts and Europe before mass passenger transport for same day shipping purposes

  • Robert G. Oler

    My prediction is that Block V wont get them to 5 and coupled with the changes from whatever they learn on the heavy…well a Block VI will come soon…

    New Glenn well we will see h ow that works out

  • Michael Halpern

    I think that block 5 will get them to 10, if they have problems it will be a minor adjustment 5.1/ 5.2 less noticable than the titanium grid fins on Block 4 verses the aluminum block 3 grid fins. They will be proving the rapid reuse capacity with Starlink, their own payloads so that they don’t have to worry the insurance companies so we might see the first to 10 in 2019,

  • Robert G. Oler

    Sure

  • Michael Halpern

    The reason I mentioned US coasts and Europe is the politics of rockets would be easier for those destinations, China will come only after a whole lot of trade policy issues are worked out and it might be used as a bargaining chip to that end
    Maybe the Aisa connection would be in Japan though

  • Robert G. Oler

    As I said we are in my view decades away from that…I am more into the ‘next three or four years” …but if you want to hope go ahead…

  • Michael Halpern

    the mass implementation and rocket p2p is decades away yes, but the vehicle itself at least the initial version, may be 5-10 years away, and I don’t think SpaceX will be alone when that point is approached, Space has to become far more common before you can sell the idea to travel customers. But the P2P infrastructure is advantageous to Mars missions, so I have no doubt Musk will push hard for it.

  • Michael Halpern

    One thing to consider is that the Block 5’s increased thrust will allow them to land on the pad more often, this is actually extremely useful for getting to 10 flights with minimal maintenance, as the boost back burn cancels the lateral velocity of the core, and re-entry heat is a velocity cubed function so if the total velocity after boost back burn is half of what it would be without the boost back, then you have 1/8 the re-entry heat to deal with, and the strain you have to worry about is much less, it’s no coincidence that the first boosters to be reflown were originally used in CRS missions, those were pad landings and far easier to refurbish, the droneship landings are stress tests in comparison to what the Block 5 will likely usually go through