SpaceX BFR Rocket
SpaceX BFR Rocket

Earlier this week, SpaceX founder Elon Musk teased “unexpected applications” for the company’s (SpaceX) interplanetary transportation technology, set to be detailed during his presentation at the International Astronautical Congress. We now know what he was referring to — ultra-fast long-distance travel right here on Earth.

Fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60. Cost per seat should be…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) He tweeted on September 29, 2017

SpaceX’s BFR will be capable of taking astronauts to the Moon and Mars, but it’s also set to dramatically reduce the time it takes to travel between major cities. Musk claims that it could be used to travel anywhere on Earth in less than an hour.

Traveling from New York City to Shanghai will apparently take just 39 minutes. Passengers could head to Dubai from London in just 29 minutes or make it from Los Angeles to Toronto in 24 minutes.

Assuming max acceleration of 2 to 3 g’s, but in a comfortable direction. Will feel like a mild to moderate amusement park ride on ascent and then smooth, peaceful & silent in zero gravity for most of the trip until landing.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 29, 2017

Despite the BFR’s incredible speed — the craft would reach 18,000 miles per hour at its peak — the ride would be pretty comfortable, according to Musk. In a tweet posted shortly after his presentation, he explained that

the ascent would feel like a “mild to moderate amusement park ride,” and the journey itself would be smooth, peaceful, and silent right up until landing.