The EveryDay Astronaut has a good breakdown of the much longer, rambling Elon Musk presentation. It’s 11 minutes compared to Musk’s 40 minute presentation.
In a nutshell, Space X couldn’t fund last year’s plans for a truly gigantic 12m diameter giant ITS (Interplanetary Transport System), because it would have required them to front the cash for a whole new rocketfactory first!
Instead, Elon has decided to scale back the ITS to “just” a 9m diameter ITS — which will still be the biggest rocket the human race has ever built — and build it in the existing factory. It’s so big, and so reusable, that it will be far cheaper than their existing fleet of much smaller rockets. It’s going to become their main workhorse in the satellite, ISS, and moon market, and eventually will replace all their existing rockets.
It will be bigger and cheaper than anything in the rocket market today, and let them cut into the airline industry! This rocket will get you most places in 30 minutes (and anywhere on earth to anywhere in an hour). If they can do that and still turn a profit, then this is the system that will eventually get us to Mars.
Who knows? If in a decade or so SpaceX has enough money, maybe they’ll build a new factory for the 12m diameter ITS, or something even bigger? But for now, I’m excited by the fact that the ITS looks like a practical workhorse for SpaceX to make us an interplanetary species, and one of the biggest questions going is what will they name the thing? I like cool names like the “Super-Dragon” or any other bird of prey name, but Spacey McSpaceface has also been suggested. 😉