From the fantastic mind of Elon Musk, this futuristic transport tube will be capable of moving people and freight alike at speeds of 760 miles per hour.
SpaceX will be building a test track outside its headquarters in Hawthorne, California, roughly 3 miles long. The goal is to begin testing within 1 year, and this is the first time that Musk has been involved with any real plans of making this dream come true.
“SpaceX will be constructing a sub-scale test track (inner diameter between 4 and 5 feet; length approximately 1 mile) adjacent to its Hawthorne, California headquarters),” an official SpaceX document, called “SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition,” said. “In order to accelerate the development of a functional prototype and to encourage student innovation, SpaceX is moving forward with a competition to design and build a half-scale Hyperloop pod.”
Musk and his talented team of engineers have described the Hyperloop pod as a “fifth mode of transportation”. This would shuttle passengers or cargo between LA and San Francisco within just 35 minuets.
“Just as aircraft climb to high altitudes to travel through less dense air, Hyperloop encloses the capsules in a reduced pressure tube,” Musk wrote in the white paper. “The pressure of air in the Hyperloop is about ⅙ the pressure of the atmosphere on Mars … a hard vacuum is avoided as vacuums are expensive and difficult to maintain compared with low pressure solutions.”
Powered by solar panels on the outer surface the Hyperloop would mainly consist of steel tubes.
Traveling nearly at the speed of sound, Musk talks about how cities less than 900 miles apart, the Hyperloop would be cheaper and faster than air travel, and way better than existing trains.
The initial goal is just to see if the concept will work, and possibly one day from a commercial Hyperloop to the world, just like the one Musk has proposed in the “White” paper.
SpaceX is holding a competition for teams of university students, who will be tasked with designing the passenger pods, and presenting their designs at SpaceX officials in January of 2016.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes public!