Musk revealed his vision for the new transport system at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, yesterday. He said the price for a ticket would rival that of an economy airline flight.
Shortly after revealing his latest plans to fly his SpaceX's upcoming rocket – codenamed Big Fucking Rocket (or BFR) – to Mars and the Moon, he suggested using the same system to create travel between different international cities.
The rocket would lift off from one city, and once outside the earth's atmosphere it would split in half. The bottom half would become a spaceship headed to another planet, while the top half would come back down to earth, landing on a floating launchpad in the desired destination.
"If you build a ship that's capable of going to Mars, what if you take the same ship and go from one place to another on Earth?" he asked an audience at the space travel conference.
Musk didn't expand on many details regarding logistics or passenger experience, but released an accompanying video visualising a journey from New York to Shanghai.
In the video, passengers board a boat at a harbour in New York, which takes them to a launchpad where the BFR would be ready to board.
Once in orbit, the ship would travel 27,000 kilometres per hour, before coming in to land on another floating launch pad in Shanghai just 39 minutes later.
In an Instagram post published after his speech, Musk wrote: "Fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60. Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft."
If Musk's vision become a reality, it would become the fastest mode of transport ever created on Earth, even outstripping his Hyperloop concept, which will reach a top speed of 1,200 kilometres per hour when built.
In the 2016 speech, he presented a timeline for creating a self-sustaining city on the Mars by 2022, saying that interplanetary colonisation was necessary to avoid "an inevitable extinction event" for the human race.