SpaceX CEO Elon Musk intends to test some of the BFR’s most innovative designs using the Falcon 9 rocket. On Wednesday, Musk took to Twitter to announce that SpaceX would construct a miniature version of the BFR’s winged space shuttle to launch on the Falcon 9 as early as June 2019. The plan involves upgrading the upper stage of SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket “to be like a mini BFR Ship.”
Mod to SpaceX tech tree build: Falcon 9 second stage will be upgraded to be like a mini-BFR Ship
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2018
The BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket, is the giant, reusable launcher SpaceX is developing to help settle Mars and perform a variety of other spaceflight feats. Each rocket will be topped by a 100-person spaceship (the BFS), which will be capable of completing many roundtrip journeys to the Red Planet.
The Falcon 9 second stage will be upgraded to be like a mini-BFR Ship – Elon Musk.
The BFR’s upper stage is sometimes referred to as a “spaceship” and is equipped, in its latest iteration announced in September, with three landing legs integrated into its tail fins and seven engines. “Aiming for orbital flight by June.”
It’s yet unclear if this means that all future Falcon 9 flights will include this upgrade or if this will specifically serve as a proof-of-concept launch for the BFR. The BFR is slated to be a two-stage vehicle consisting of a booster and a spaceship. The booster the first stage will propel the entire craft past the atmosphere.
If everything goes well with BFR-BFS development, the duo could begin carrying people to Mars by the mid-2020s, according to Musk. The long-term goal is to help establish a million-person city on the Red Planet ideally, within the next 50 to 100 years.
Now, that’s a big dream and to make it come true the system will be able to do all that SpaceX asks of it, from launching satellites to Earth orbit to cleaning up space junk to ferrying people on superfast; Musk says.