Thoth Technology has been granted the United States patent for a space elevator.

IMAGE: 20 km Space Tower/THOTHX.COM

IMAGE: 20 km Space Tower/THOTHX.COM

The elevator will allow astronauts to ascend 20 kilometers into the air, from where spacecraft will be able to launch into orbit. The top of the tower will also allow space planes to return for "refueling and reflight" inventor Bendan Quine said in a statement.

The new technology could be a massive step for frequent space travel and will also be up to 30% more fuel efficient when compared to a conventional rocket.

However, the elevator will need outside interest and other companies to look at different rocket designs before it becomes a reality.

It seems our sci-fi fantasies of regular space travel could be closer than we think.