Popular Mechanics South Africa


In January, we ran an exclusive interview with Elon Musk on popularmechanics.com, in which he explained, for the first time, his full thinking – as well as the complex engineering questions – behind his decision to construct SpaceX’s Starship rocket and booster with stainless steel. The previous design for the rocket (which was then known as the BFR) had called for carbon fibre, but Musk recalculated and went with steel due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and ductility.

Here, in a continuation of that interview, Musk goes deep on what it takes to actually travel beyond orbit and into space. Also, it sounds like Mars will have a nice park.

Ryan D’Agostino: What don’t most future potential space tourists understand about the practicality of travelling to space?

Some basic concepts about orbit and gravity, which are counterintuitive because they’re not what we experience. Like, a lot of people think if you go up high enough, gravity stops. This is not true. Earth’s gravitational

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