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Elon Musk Renames BFR to Starship

Instead of upgrading Falcon 9 for more reusability, SpaceX was now focusing on "accelerating BFR"

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AI could be first 'resident' of Mars, hints Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a fully reusable vehicle designed to take humans and supplies to Mars and also to dramatically cut travel time within Earth, is getting a new name, Starship, the company’s CEO Elon Musk has announced.

“Renaming BFR to Starship,” Musk said in a tweet late on Monday.

This two-stage vehicle — composed of a Booster and a Ship — is designed to eventually replace the company’s Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and the Dragon spacecraft.

It is designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars.

In a tweet, Musk explained that Starship would be the name for the spaceship/upper stage and Super Heavy would be the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well.

All of Musk’s 23.5 million followers on the micro-blogging site, were, however, not impressed.

Elon Musk, tesla
Elon Musk renames SpaceX’s BFR rocket for interplanetary trip. IANS

While one Twitter user called the new name “boring”, another was left “pretty disappointed”. Some users liked the name change though.

On September 17, SpaceX announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the company’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard the company’s BFR rocket in 2023.

In response to a reply that unless this “starship” is sent on a mission to another star system it cannot be called a “starship”, Musk said that “the later versions (of the rocket) will”.

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In a tweet over the weekend, Musk said that SpaceX is no longer planning to upgrade Falcon 9 second stage for reusability.

Instead of upgrading Falcon 9 for more reusability, SpaceX was now focusing on “accelerating BFR”.

“New design is very exciting! Delightfully counter-intuitive,” he said. (IANS)

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk Makes Big Claims About Model 3 on Twitter

The long-range Model S is now priced $83,000 down from $96,000 before savings

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia

The body and drive unit of Electric Vehicle (EV)-maker Tesla’s Model 3 Sedan can last upto 1 million miles while the battery can last up to 500,000 miles, said company Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.

“Model 3 drive unit and body is designed like a commercial truck for a million mile life. Current battery modules should last 300k to 500k miles (1,500 cycles). Replacing modules (not pack) will only cost $5k to $7k,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

The billionaire made this claim to his 25.7 million followers in context Model 3’s value being used in an autonomous ride-hailing fleet.

“What he meant is that the vehicles would become revenue-generating assets as they integrate this autonomous ride-hailing fleet, which has been dubbed the ‘Tesla Network’,” Electrek reported.

The value of the Model 3 on the Tesla Network would depend on how many miles it can put in it, which according to Musk is up to 1 million miles within two or three battery module replacements.

Even though Tesla would not replace a whole battery pack, the company is willing to offer battery module replacements for between $5,000 and $7,000.

Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

“Assuming that $5,000 to $7,000 for the battery modules means the cost for the Standard Range Plus and Long Range battery modules, it would mean a cost of roughly $100 per kWh at the battery module level, which makes sense,” the report added.

“At a value of $1 per mile, we are talking about a potential of at least $300,000 in revenue before having to possibly replace the battery modules.”

The EV-maker recently announced big price cuts for its high-end Model S after shifting to online-only sales.

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The long-range Model S is now priced $83,000 down from $96,000 before savings.

The huge price cut by the EV maker comes less than two months after it decided to stop manufacturing Model S with a 75kWh battery pack, opting instead to only sell versions with a 100kWh pack. (IANS)