Elon Musk, The Hyperloop


Grace Keith, contributer

Looking for fast travel? Well, a new and improved way for passenger and freight transportation is currently under construction. It is being referred to as the fifth mode of transportation, in which people and things are, according to the UK telegraph, “whisked through a tube at speeds in the excess of 700 mph”.

It is a traveling system that sends pods or containers through what is essentially a vacuum, staying in place with the help of extremely strong magnets or air caster skis. To get a good idea of how this system travels, picture an air hockey puck gliding across an air hockey table. The low amounts of friction in this tunnel are what allows this fast transportation.

These pods are launched through electric power, through underground tunnels with a diameter of three meters. This is less than the amount of space a railroad track would take up. The whole project was created on a mission to become more eco-friendly, so the tunnels are powered with clean, solar energy.

So who is the master behind this invention of advanced acceleration? The creator and engine behind the design and startup of the testing of this hyperloop is a man named Elon Musk. According to Forbes Profiling, Elon is the Ceo and Chairman of Tesla car companies, the owner of the SpaceX 12 rocket company, and the co-founder of Paypal. Elon’s rocket company is currently valued at more than $20 billion dollars. His model 3 Tesla motor vehicle is sold at the starting price of $35,000. Musk grew up in South Africa, moved to Canada at age 17, and attended PENN, earning a bachelor’s degree in arts and science. The hyperloop is but one of his futuristic inventions. 

The first proposed route was from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This route would cash in at a cost of about $6 billion, or $11.5 million per mile. However, there is much more demand for the hyperloop in foreign European countries.

So far the likelihood of these loops being created is just a theory, but it is looking promising. According to the UK telegram, “support from several governments and funding from transport behemoth General Electric and French rail giant SNCF, but the potential cost and feasibility of the technology are still to be tested.”

Elon is not alone in his aspirations to invent fast motion transportation. He has captivated the minds of the China Aerospace Science and Industrial Corporation (CASIC). They are currently forming ideas and planning construction of what they are calling the supersonic T Flight ‘flying train.’

On August 30th, CASIC announced their plan for an intercontinental hyperloop that, according to Popular Science, can reach speeds of over 2,300 miles per hour. Elon Musk’s initial proposal called for a hyperloop that reaches 745 miles per hour. Popular Science also says that, “The current fastest bullet trains, in Germany and China, have top speeds in the range of 180-215 miles per hour.”

Advances in the generation of this train would include, “magnetic technology, propulsion technology, and material sciences,” that would allow the Chinese to make advances in, “superconductors, energy efficiency, civil aviation, and military technology”. The estimated time for construction of China’s fastest hyperloop would not start until 2027, but with a profit of $1.5 billion from their past year of work, an employee count of 150,000, and a partnership with 20 domestic and international companies, CASIC’s CEO is confident in the eventual completion of the train.




Popular science: Jeffery Lin and P.W Singer

photo URL: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/hyperloop-one-test-11-may-desert-trial-prototype-a7024231.html