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Will there be a need for transpacific or transatlantic flights in 5-10 years?

The future of space transport
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Founder, Travel Tech Essentialist

The cognitive dissonance with the recent SpaceX launch could not be any greater. According to the media, it would the recent SpaceX rocket launch was a failure. For anybody with a minimum knowledge of what the objectives and results were, April 17 was extraordinarily important for humanity. When it comes to rocket science, I place my trust in rocket scientists rather than journalists.

The mission would have been unsuccessful if the rocket had blown up on the pad. What happened was a huge success: lifting off, going through Max-Q and flying for 4 minutes to a height of 39 km. There are already more than 1000 discrete improvements ready for the next launch in a few months.

The new data shows that we will soon be able to send over 100 metric tonnes into orbit at a variable cost of under $2 million. This is an enormous step function change of the Falcon 9 metrics (17 metric tons at $15 million). A 50x improvement. Once you can move that amount of mass to orbit, you can move around the planet very quickly. Transportation will change dramatically.

There will be no more transpacific or transatlantic cargo or human flights in 5-10 years, according to Antonio Gracias (SpaceX board director) and Gavin Baker.

This is worth a listen:

5 months ago (edited)
Travel Influencer and Creator, American Travel Family

Hi, my husband's Airforce buddy is one of the pilots for Space X. He said it when exactly according to plan and they couldn't have hoped for a better outcome.

5 months ago
Founder, Travel Massive

I agree that cheap(er) sub-orbital space travel will be a game changer for critical, time-sensitive transport.

Here's a few thoughts:

On a cost comparison, it would be great to know the raw cost per kg / per km across various transport modes such as ship, rail, air, and space. I can find various snippets of this data but nothing easily comparable.

While rocket travel might be 50x improved, it could still be a 1000x on the cost of air for the same payload / distance (guessing). So we need some better data to make some comparisons, including emissions.

Challenges I see for space-delivered transport:

1. Some nations might not want sub-orbital flights traversing over their territorial skies
2. Logistics of retrieving the payload (e.g. getting the physical capsule on land)
3. Seamless integration of space transport with existing networks (e.g. DHL, FedEx)

For human travel, I think we're much further away from traveling from LA to London via rocket flight unless you're an eccentric billionaire. I think that space tourism will probably come first, since it will be easier to send people up into space, and bring them back to the same point, without losing their luggage.

I've actually been thinking about space travel for the past 10 years or so... and even parked a domain for a future project!

5 months ago (edited)

I would image the folks at Boom might have a thing or two to say about the need for transpacific or transatlantic flights in 5-10 years.

5 months ago
Travelon Marketing, Travelon

Great podcast! Keep bringing things like this.

5 months ago
Travel Influencer and Creator, American Travel Family

I hope so, or my husband is out of a job as an Airline Captain job๐Ÿ˜‚

5 months ago