U.S. billionaire innovator Elon Musk has unveiled plans for a new rocket that would allow passengers to travel from one continent to another in about 30 minutes.
At a presentation Friday in Adelaide, Australia, Musk showed a video of images of a rocket taking off in New York and landing in various places around the world, including Tokyo and Shanghai.
He said the New York-Shanghai trip could be done in 39 minutes, while a trip from Bangkok to Dubai would take 27 minutes and Tokyo to Delhi would be 30 minutes.
He added that the cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft.
Musk noted there is no weather outside the Earth's atmosphere to interfere with travel times and said that once you are beyond the atmosphere, "it would be as smooth as silk, no turbulence, nothing."
"If we are building this thing to go to the moon and Mars, then why not go to other places on Earth as well?" Musk said.
Musk, who founded and runs the company SpaceX along with the electric luxury car company Tesla, has long been making plans for rockets to travel to Mars.
Musk said SpaceX plans its first trip to Mars in 2022, carrying only cargo with a key mission to find the best source of water on the Red Planet. That mission would be followed by the first manned mission in 2024. He said the company was aiming to start construction on the first spaceship in the next six to nine months.
Musk said space flights to enable people to travel from one continent to another could help to pay for future missions to Mars.