Musk revealed new specs on the BFR spacecraft that Maezawa will be riding in. Originally, SpaceX had planned to utilize its Falcon Heavy rockets to blast a Dragon crew capsule to the moon and back. However, the company has since opted instead to use its newly minted BFR which, coincidentally, is being constructed at the Port of Los Angeles.
The Big Falcon Ship (BFS), which rides at the tip of the 118-meter long BFR like a giant hood ornament, is designed to hold up to 100 people and 1100 cubic meters of cargo. However, during Maezawa's trip, it will only carry a minimal crew to make weight space for extra food, water, and parts in case the mission goes sideways in mid-flight. Details on technical details like the life support, navigation and safety measures remained scarce following the press event.
With a fuel refill from an orbital tanker ship, the BFR should be able to tote 100 tons of supplies all the way to the surface of Mars thanks to its array of 31 Raptor engines and their combined 5,400 tons of thrust. What's more, if SpaceX manages to get to the Red Planet and then set up a fuel storage system there, ships will eventually be able to "rock hop" across the inner planets, potentially all the way out to the edges of the solar system, Musk explained.
The BFR is expected to be ready for ground testing at some point in 2019. Musk believes the first uncrewed BFR flight to Mars will take place as early as 2022 while crewed flights should start two years after that. "I can't wait," Musk quipped. "I'm super fired up about this. This is amazing."