Nick Parker

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Setting comically huge goals

Today in Australia Elon Musk talked about his grand plan for Mars, the specs and economics of SpaceX’s new rocket that’ll take us there, and how that new rocket can also carry passengers anywhere in the world within 30–60 minutes.

The hot-take market is predictably white hot right now with armchair engineers debunking that last bit. The cost can’t possibly work out! What about the carbon footprint? This isn’t 30 minutes — metro areas are never letting a giant rocket within an hour of city limits so it’s no better than Hyperloop!

What’s funny is collectively we’ve apparently accepted the rest of the talk. He’s taking us to Mars. SpaceX’s new rocket utterly crushes everyone else in every dimension: Payload dimensions, payload mass to anywhere, cost per payload kg, and reliability. Oh, and they want it doing all this in five years.

I’m not saying I think SpaceX will fail. I think the odds are very good they’ll succeed, and I’m excited to help build the technology we’ll need to make Mars home. But, I think it’s absolutely hilarious that Elon threw the utterly wild ‘suborbital rockets for passenger transit’ idea out, and now the wolves are ripping that apart while ignoring his real baby. I wonder if he planned this…

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