The new child of Elon Musk

We all use different modes of transport everyday (such as bicycles, trams, motorbikes, buses or planes). (irrelevant info but fun stuff: do you know what a trolleybus is? Widely used in my homeland, looks like a bus with two horns attached to the wires and runs on electricity   but is not an electrobus!)  All these means of transport are already well-known, basic and kinda boring. Reading news in the newspapers is also boring. So where does a bored teenager look for exciting stuff? That’s it, IG and … His mom (not IG’s but the protagonist of this story) reminded me of his existence and the cool stuff he does. I mean Elon Musk who is recognized by some as the genius of technology of the 21st century. His best-known creation so far is Tesla, the result of a masterful merge of the brain of SpaceX and a transportation means. It was a blast when Tesla was launched and it literally turned everybody’s perception of cars and how they can work in general around. But there is always room for a surprise because the world never stops, great minds keep on working, and so does Elon (mind you he has got 6 kids too).  Hopefully, already in 2024, we will witness another result of Elon’s extreme productivity. (Spoiler!) The newborn has already got a name, it is Hyperloop.

So the parents of the next technological breakthrough parents are father Elon Musk and mother SpaceX. Hyperloop was born in 2014, but the first tests with passengers took place only a couple days ago. Before talking about it let me briefly explain what Hyperloop is.

I guess almost everyone knows or has heard about extremely fast and good looking futuristic trains which are in use in Japan. Hyperloop is a better, more impressive and advanced version of it. The name already clearly explains the idea behind the new kind of transport.  HYPERLOOP refers to “high-speed transportation of goods in tubes”. It consists of a chain of capsules that are inserted into a steel tube and they move because of the low-air pressure and vacuum. If you are not that much into physics and all that kind of stuff just think about air-hockey and how it operates. (Is that really much easier and explains it? No clue but at least I can pretend I get the point). The system is similar. Due to the laws of physics somehow those noiseless pods can move up to 2 times faster than a plane. So in addition to saving energy (no need for gas or oil), Hyperloop also saves time by traveling at super high speeds.

Each year SpaceX held competitions dedicated to all aspects of this project such as the design of the tubes, the efficiency of Hyperloop, increasing its speed and capacity, etc. All kinds of universities from different countries were participants. IMHO, tT=he most remarkable project was developed in 2019 by Delft Technical University. It made a whole virtual tour of Hyperloop stations and trains of their design. If you are already bored skip reading the rest and watch the video and “try” another amazing idea of SpaceX yourself (after COVID19 using only virtual versions of things is supposed to be pretty normal for you, haha):
https://vimeo.com/348132721

If you are still here or the video was too short then it is time for you to learn that before this year the whole Hyperloop project was more like a nice fiction story or a plot for a movie. But a short while ago two major things happened. Firstly, a smaller version of the capsule was able to reach the speed of 1019 km/h at one of the test sites of Korail in South Korea. Did you ever learn at school that the speed of sound is just a bit higher, 1193 km\h? Before that eventful trial, the highest speed of the tube ever was 714 km\h.
Secondly, the first capsule carrying passengers test was carried out in Las-Vegas. The pod pace was only 160 km/h, but it proved that such technology is safe for use.

Some people with no imagination and probably a complete lack of adrenalin are still scared of such things and try to convince everybody around that it can be dangerous because of claustrophobia and extreme speeds. In addition to the tubes being completely isolated from real world by a steel tunnel the capsules also move too fast. Make sure you bring a paper bag along if you decide to go for a test ride! Those with adrenalin are excitedly waiting for the new “magic” creation from the founder of Tesla.

Sources:
1. https://hi-tech.mail.ru/news/test_v_yuzhnoj_koree/?frommail=1
2. https://hi-tech.mail.ru/news/metro_maska_ekskursia/
3. https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/8/21553014/virgin-hyperloop-first-human-test-speed-pod-tube
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop#Hyper_Poland

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  • Aleksa Jasiulionyte
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:44 am 0Likes

    After reading this blog post, I already started imagining how airplanes will become a mode of transportation of the past. Of course, as with all new technologies, Hyperloop won`t be without flaws, especially at the beginning, but I am still very excited, that as you wrote, we might be able to try this mode of transport already in 2024. Maybe Hyperloop will also make car transportation less popular, and the numbers of car crashes will notably decrease, thinking that most of the deadly car disaster happens, due to a call on the phone in the car, or texting while driving. Also, even though the idea of Hyperloop is credited to Elon Musk, the rapidly changing technological market is driven by competition to better inventions and actualize them as fast as possible. I`m intrigued to see, if Elon Musk`s company, or, for example, The Virgin Hyperloop, will be the first to carry commercial passengers.

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