Elon Musk reveals Starship rocket with scantily clad 'battle angel' on its side

KOOKY billionaire Elon Musk has shared a photo that appears to show the figure of a scantily clad woman emblazoned on a rocket built by his company SpaceX.

The image of a SpaceX "Starship" – a spacecraft designed to one day take astronauts to Mars –  was posted to Musk's Twitter account this morning.

It features artwork of Japanese manga character and cyborg warrior Alita, the title character in the 2019 blockbuster "Alita: Battle Angel".

Musk, who lives in California, has publicly expressed his love for anime and other Japanese culture in the past.

Writing alongside this morning's photo, the 48-year-old Tesla boss tweeted: "Battle Angel Starship".

It's unlikely the photo is real – Musk often posts jokey statements and pictures to his Twitter account.

In the image, the words "Mars Hunter Warrior" are seemingly painted under the Alita artwork.

Musk's company SpaceX, which builds and operates a private fleet of rockets, hopes to one day take the first humans to Mars.

Musk has previously claimed that humanity must colonise the Red Planet in order to save itself from World War Three.

SpaceX's Starship, a gigantic rocket capable of trips into deep space, is tipped to carry out the company's first trip there.

However, it hasn't performed a single test flight yet, so don't hold your breath for a Martian colony any time soon.

Once the rocket finally gets off the ground, it seems Musk is at least entertaining the idea of adorning a Starship with manga artwork.

The mogul's adoring 31million Twitter followers were unsure how to react to the image.

"This is SOOOO AMAZING!! Love this!!! Thanks for Sharing Elon," gushed one user.

Another inquired: "Are you responsible for this? Please tell me you are responsible for this."

One fan even tried to persuade the billionaire to fund an "Alita: Battle Angel" sequel: "Could u maybe sponsor Alita battle Angel part 2 ????"

The Sun has reached out to SpaceX for comment.

Musk's Twitter antics have landed him in hot water plenty of times in the past.

The South African was forced to step down as Tesla chairman and pay a £15million fine after settling a deal with US regulators over tweets about taking the company private.

Musk was said to be misleading investors when he tweeted in August that year that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share.

The tweet, a reference to "4-20", a phrase used to refer to cannabis or to the act of smoking cannabis, had no basis in fact.

In December, Musk emerged victorious from a defamation trial after a federal court jury rejected the $190million claim brought against him by a British cave explorer who Musk had branded a "pedo guy" on Twitter.

In other news, SpaceX announced last week that it would send four tourists hurtling into orbit as early as next year.

A supersonic Nasa X-plane that's as quiet as the "thump of a car door" is nearly ready.

Nasa recently unveiled the design of a moon lander that could be taking astronauts back to the lunar surface by 2024.

What do you think of Musk's tweet? Let us know in the comments!

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