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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

The world needs visionaries because they’re the individuals who make us excited about the future and our own human potential, and Elon Musk just did it again.

 

At yesterdays’ International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, Elon Musk, the billionaire polymath and founder of Neuralink, the company that wants to connect our brains directly to Artificial Intelligence (AI), OpenAI, the company that wants to democratise AI for “good,” SpaceX and Tesla, announced that he sees a future where his reusable rockets will be able to transport passengers from London to New York in 29 minutes at Mach 22, or 27,000 KMH.

 

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The rub though, at least if you’re an airline company, and just as he promised when he first announced the Hyperloop concept, a Mach 1 “train in a tube,” back in 2015, is that he wants the tickets to be the same price as a standard economy ticket, although in this case he’s referring to the cost of an airplane ticket not a train ticket.

 

Anywhere on Earth in under an hour

 

During his speech he also unveiled his much anticipated plan to get a million people living on Mars by the end of the century, starting from 2022, and revealed that his team imagines using the same technology, namely his reusable Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) and its reusable engine stages, to travel between different places on Earth in under an hour. He also wants his rockets to be electric, but said that that, at the moment at least is too big a leap to make – even if, ironically, it appears that Mars isn’t.

 

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“If you build a ship that is capable of going to Mars, well, what if you take that same ship and go from one place to another on Earth,” Musk says at the end of the presentation. “We looked at that. And the results are quite interesting.”

Now, bearing in mind that this is technically Airbus and Boeing’s “industry” to loose, and that China and Russia recently signed a joint agreement to develop the next generation of passenger aircraft, in short to end America and Europe’s dominance in the space, I’m guessing that there might be some executives calling a meeting on Monday to figure out what their response should be, and if those executives are anything like most executives then they’ll be planning on him to fail to reach his objective, or fail to scale, or both. But that’s not a bet I’d take. Time to catch up, again, guys. Visionaries, don’t you just hate them? I’m booking my ticket now…!

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank working between the dates of 2020 and 2070, is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Regularly featured on AP, CNBC, Discovery and RT, his ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past five years as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive future. A rare talent Matthew sits on the Technology and Innovation Committee (TIAC) for Centrica, Europe’s largest utility company, and his recent work includes mentoring XPrize teams, building the first generation of biocomputers and re-inventing global education, and helping the world’s largest manufacturers envision, design and build the next 20 years of devices, smartphones and intelligent machines. Matthew's clients are the who’s who of industry and include Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, BOA, Blackrock, Bentley, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Du Pont, E&Y, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, UBS, the USAF and many others.

Comments
  • Theo Priestley#1

    6th October 2017

    Chemtrails much?

    Reply
  • John Willkie#2

    6th October 2017

    @Theo. I do believe you meant “ionic.” All electric circuits are a loop. One would be hard-pressed to figure out how that glow returned to the rocket.

    Reply
  • Jesse Berdinka#3

    6th October 2017

    I was surprised when I started to work in tech. I imagined it to be a industry full of ideas, but I often see an abundance of intelligence with few of the really big dreams that inspire people

    Reply
  • Douglas Edwards#4

    6th October 2017

    Well he needs to focus on active and real projects now and shift away from fiction

    Reply

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