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Livestream: Watch Elon Musk at IAC2017 as he reveals Mars plan

Here’s how you can watch a livestream of Elon Musk at IAC2017

After many months of teasers from Elon Musk and SpaceX, Musk is about to give a presentation on SpaceX’s updated Big Falcon Rocket, which is expected to one day bring humans to Mars and potentially even support a city-sized colony on the planet.

Musk’s 2016 presentation on the Interplanetary Transport System captured the imaginations of many people, kindling the sort of excitement he has always hoped to inspire. Sitting in the audience during his Guadalajara, Mexico talk, his esoteric desire to make people excited to get out of bed in the morning resonated with me.

Updated: Elon Musk teases SpaceX-built cities on the Moon and Mars

Nevertheless, we now find ourselves almost exactly one year after his 2016 talk, and many things are believed to have changed with both SpaceX’s interplanetary colonization strategy and the hardware the company expects to develop to accomplish that colonization. Musk has said that tonight’s presentation will focus on the how of SpaceX’s Mars colonization efforts, entailing a somewhat smaller booster and spaceship with “major improvements”, as well as some “unexpected applications” for the vehicle.

What exactly those unexpected applications might be is fittingly unclear, if they are indeed less than obvious. More obvious applications for a fully-reusable heavy launch vehicle include

  • More affordable access to orbit
  • Mass launches of satellite constellations
  • Off-the-shelf access to the surface of the Moon
  • Space tourism in Earth orbit
  • Cheaper and simpler space stations in a single launch
  • Direct and rapid access to the Outer Solar System for more complex planetary exploration missions

These are just a handful of the potential uses and benefits that could be derived from a fully-reusable heavy launch vehicle like the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). Unexpected or not, the near-Earth utility of a theoretical BFR is undeniable.

Aside from additional information on those unexpected applications, we can expect several exciting tidbits. Musk has teased new and improved videos of their Raptor rocket engine conducting live-fire tests, and we also have reason to believe that his talk will be accompanied by an equally slick and thrilling collection of renders of the updated BFR in action. Mirroring last year’s rather shocking unveiling of physical hardware development in the form of Raptor’s first test fire and a massive carbon fiber propellant tank, I personally expect to see confirmation of still more tangible hardware development.

A growing amount of recent news pointing to Boca Chica, Texas as the first launch site for SpaceX’s massive new rocket may also lead to an official statement from Musk himself either confirming or denying this, maybe accompanied by a tentative schedule for pad development. Regardless of what is revealed, tonight’s presentation is bound to be yet another exceptional opportunity to hear Musk wax poetic about SpaceX’s desire to make humanity a multiplanetary species.

We’ve embedded a livestream of Elon Musk’s upcoming presentation SpaceX IAC2017 presentation scheduled to begin at the following times:

  • Friday at 2 p.m. Australian Central Standard Time
  • 12:30 p.m. China Standard Time
  • 6:30 a.m. Central European Standard Time
  • 5:30 a.m. British Summer Time
  • 12:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time
  • Thursday at 9:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time

Livestream: Watch Elon Musk at IAC2017 as he reveals Mars plan

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