Elon Musk unveils Space X's 'holy grail of space'

The Starship prototype.
The Starship prototype. Photo credit: Getty

Elon Musk has unveiled what he calls "the holy grail of space".

The billionaire SpaceX founder revealed the prototype of a "rapidly reusable rocket" that he predicted would be "the critical breakthrough" in the future of space travel.

Musk unveiled the Starship prototype, known as Mark 1, at the SpaceX facility in Texas over the weekend, reports Wired

The reusable rocket would help make space travel more like air travel, Musk said, with the rocket set to have its first test flight in "one to two months".

The goal was for the rocket's first flight to orbit to be within six months.

The ultimate aim is to use the rocket to carry crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere in the solar system.

"We need to make space travel like air travel," he said. "Any other mode of transport is reusable so the critical breakthrough is a rapidly reusable orbital rocket – this is the holy grail of space."

The spacecraft stands at around 50m tall and will be able to lift a payload of up to 150 tonnes. 

Mark 1 is one of two such rockets, with its twin located in the company's facility in Cape Canaveral, in Florida. 

Musk has had his fair share of controversy in recent years, and not just because of his technological adventures.

Last year he faced pressure to resign as chief executive of Tesla after tweeting that he was considering taking the company private.

He also faced backlash after calling one of the divers who helped rescue a group of Thai school students from a cave a "pedo guy".