From the same launch pad where NASA first sent astronauts to the moon, the Falcon Heavy, the first privately owned and reusable super heavy-lift launch rocket took off into space. SpaceX, a company founded and run by entrepreneur Elon Musk, built the Falcon Heavy and sparked a revival of the Space Age. The launch alone had floods of people pouring into Brevard to get a look at this important milestone in spaceflight history. Now, that the crowds are back, the space industry along with Florida’s Space Coast can build on the momentum.
Florida in particular is expected to benefit from this resurgence in the space industry; tourism is on the the rise. In fact, the successful launch has people talking about SpaceX’s plans for a commercial travel rocket, nicknamed the BFR. The BFR’s purpose goes beyond just traveling through the stratosphere—it’s for flying to destination points all over the world. Rocket travel using the entry levels of the Earth’s atmosphere, as explained by Musk, could get passengers anyplace on earth—Orlando to Fiji, Brazil to New Zealand, Canada to Panama—in matter of an hour. It’s an impressive concept especially when taking into consideration what most people have grown accustomed to since the the beginning of air travel. Flights by plane normally take multiple hours, and sometimes require multiple stops.
However, along with the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy, a lot more seems possible and the idea of a commercial rocket ship being used for vacations seems much more realistic. Although there is still a long list of tasks to accomplish before this concept can come into fruition. Among the issues to iron out is the cost, which might possibly require tens of millions of dollars per launch. SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes that he will eventually be able to get the costs per rocket seat down to the same price as a seat in coach. If anyone can accomplish such a feat, it may just be Elon Musk. Despite the many who are now working to make a new imprint on the space and travel industry. There is a video simulation based off of Port Canaveral, from which Elon Musk’s travel rocket is shown taking off. The passengers will travel by boat to the rocket ship disembarking point offshore, once passengers are on seated, the rocket ship will launch into low orbit, traveling at about 18,000 miles per hour.
The real life launch of the Falcon heavy along with the possibilities presented by plans of more has encouraged other companies and countries to aim for more ambitious goals in space. Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin for example, are also looking to fly people on suborbital jaunts that could reach the edge of space. All these space projects have the space council contemplating how to best integrate commercial companies in its plans. The dominos effect has brought great attention on to Florida’s Space Coast, revitalizing an area that has struggled since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011. The entrepreneurial drive has Central Florida’s tourism ready for a major take off. Literally.