The BFR will be able refuel in orbit and go to the moon, land and launch from the moon and return to earth without refueling.
The BFR establishing new commercial space age like DC-3 boosting commercial aviation before WW2
With the first few BFR launches they will be able to establish
Massive orbital fueling and support stations.
Orbital industrial capacity, science facilities
An on the moon lunar base
An orbiting the moon lunar space station
L5 and other lagrange point bases
Large missions to asteroids
They will be able to launch thousands of internet satellites in the first few launches. A global low earth orbit internet satellite network could generate over $30+ billion per year.
A fleet of 40 to 400 fully reusable Spacex BFR rockets averaging about one launch per week would have 2000 to 20,000 launches per year. This would be moving 300,000 to 3 million tons of payload. This will be taking space industry up to 100 to 1000 times.
The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing propeller-driven airliner. Its cruise speed (207 mph or 333 km/h) and range (1,500 mi or 2,400 km) revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its lasting effect on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made.
Civil DC-3 production ended in 1942 with 607 aircraft being produced. It had 21 seats or 14–16 sleeping berths. Early U.S. airlines like American, United, TWA, Delta and Eastern ordered over 400 DC-3s. These fleets paved the way for the modern American air travel industry, which eventually replaced trains as the favored means of long-distance travel across the United States.
This is a DC-3
The DC-8 is somewhat more comparable in terms of the capacity for passengers being similar to the BFR. The DC8 could transport 177 passengers. However, the DC-3 had a more important place in aviation history.
Historic as Caravel sailing ships or Spanish Galleons
The BFR will be even bigger in history by establishing space colonization in near earth orbit, Cis-lunar, asteroid and Mars. It will be like the three mast Caravel ships that enabled and were the work horse for colonization of the Americas.
The Caravel were agile and easier to navigate than the barca and barinel, with a tonnage of 50 to 160 tons and 1 to 3 masts, with lateen triangular sails allowing beating. The exploration done with caravels made the spice trade of the Portuguese and the Spanish possible. However, for the trade itself, the caravel was later replaced by the larger carrack (nau), which was more profitable for trading. The caravel was one of the pinnacle ships in Iberian ship development from 1400–1600.
It was in such Caravel ships that Christopher Columbus set out on his expedition in 1492; Santa María was a ~100 ton nau which served as the flagship and the Pinta and Niña were smaller caravels of around 15–20 m with a beam of 6 m and displacing around 60-75 tons.
If the Spacex BFR establishes space industry, sustainable and permanent colonization of near earth, cislunar, moon, asteroids and Mars then it will be historially bigger than the Caravel and DC-3 combined.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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