Away from Earth, Musk believes the BFR will be used to ferry people to Mars.
Musk's company, SpaceX, is developing a huge spacecraft to colonize Mars. He and his company, SpaceX, already have an impressive CV, but these latest plans, if achieved, will revolutionise human space travel.
Musk suggested the BFR could eventually also be used to clean up space by gobbling up old satellites and other junk orbiting the earth. For example, the rocket has been scaled back a bit; it will now be about 30 feet (9 wide) and sport "just" 31 Raptor engines. He plans to shift the focus of all his SpaceX resources to develop a spacecraft called the "Interplanetary Transport System", which goes by another cooler name - BFR aka Big F*cking Rocket.
"There is something else", Musk said, before showing a video of Earth-to-Earth BFR travel.
What else can we expect at Musk's AIC presentation Friday?
Last year, Musk joked about using Kickstarter and collecting underpants as a way to fund the ITS. These didn't pan out.
Musk wants to make SpaceX's still-theoretical BFR rocket, which it will build for the Mars journey, financially viable by using it for the company's other services.
SpaceX will start building the BFR within six to nine months.
At the top of the BFR, which will stand at 106m tall, is the payload.
SpaceX also announced its new fully reusable BFR rocket which could eventually be used for worldwide flights on Earth as well besides doing nearly every flight-related activity that the company enrages in or proposes to do, including carrying humans to Mars. This will allow the passenger version to carry 40 cabins with two to five passengers each for a total of 80 to 200 passengers, in addition to having common areas, cargo holds, a galley, and a solar storm radiation shelter.
The cost of a Falcon 9 launch is roughly $62 million, according to SpaceX's website, with modest discounts available for contractually committed, multi-launch purchases.
A BFR rocket would potentially launch from NY, for example, detach from the rocket booster and head towards a landing pad in Shanghai. "In terms of how many landings are occurring, you need to be looking at your watch not your calendar". Importantly, Musk claims it will be relatively cheap as it is planned to be fully reusable (the current Falcon 9's are only partially reusable). Vaporware. The rockets and spaceship you see in the clip below aren't real. "This is mad", Musk said.
"I can't emphasise enough how profound this is and how important this is", Musk told the Congress as the keynote speaker.
NASA's first human mission to Mars is expected about a decade later. He envisions such ships helping to set up an outpost on the moon in the relatively near future.
"We're sort of searching for the right name", Musk said. "What the hell is going on?"