Hyperloop SpaceX genius Elon Musk
Elon Musk, born in South Africa, an entrepreneur, engineer and investor, is the 53rd richest man in the world. He is the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink. He is the co-founder of Tesla Motor Company along with Neuralink. At a point of time, Elon Musk founded his own company known as The Boring Company. He also established the Space Exploration Technologies, also known as, SpaceX. This made him a huge tech magnate and one of the most influential man in the country. He is the legal citizen of Canada and United States and lives in Bel Sir, Los Angeles. He got his undergraduate degree from Queen’s university. He is an alumnus of Stanford University. He is in the news for his new project of colonizing Mars and the project is named “Oasis”. He is the person who wanted to build a satellite constellation of 4425 satellites to provide broadband connection to every man on earth. His ideas seem to be huge and impossible to achieve but with the man power and engineers in his team, Elon Musk is trying to make his ideas work. His company SpaceX has the contract from NASA to built rocket propulsion technology and also has the license to provide space weapons to the US Army. This is really great on the part of Elon Musk.
The idea of Hyperloop
Another achievement by the Tech Billionaire, Elon Musk is the Hyperloop Pod by his company SpaceX. Hid idea of “transporting” people from one area to another with a great speed came true when he got the government’s approval for this upcoming transportation facility. For this the company has designed a hyperloop pod that will undergo test to reach the speed equal to half the speed of sound within a mile.
Hyperloop technology is based on the concept of travelling a vacuum environment with a high speed. The air inside the capsule is pressurized to keep the passengers safe from nausea and anti-gravity forces. This idea became a thing when Elon Musk publicly mentioned about it.
As far as the idea of Hyperloop Spacex project by Elon Musk is concerned, the idea first stroked Elon Musk in 2012. The idea was publicly addressed in the same year. Then the idea of designing such a thing connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area was on the peak and according to the sources, the estimated price of the project was around 6 Billion USD. If this project was successful, the total time of the travel would have been around 35 minutes, which is way faster than the current rail and air travel.
In the headquarters at Hawthorne, California, SpaceX has a mile-long testing pod where student led research about the hyperloop can be tested. The SpaceX also organises and sponsors a hyperloop design competition where students from all the world can take part and reveal their designs and test them in the pod. After the first competition in 2015, SpaceX cleared that neither they nor Elon Musk are affiliated to any commercial hyperloop companies. They are only interested to accelerate the process of building such a thing in the near future. They are the catalyst for an inevitable change.
With one of the best entrepreneur ideas, Elon Musk has also gained quite a good number of competitors in this field. One name always pops up when we find a competition to the Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Pod. The British business Tycoon and airline magnate, Richard Branson. He sis backing the Virginia Hyperloop One to build a hyperloop pod in India. The route will connect the Indian city Pune to the well-planned airport in Mumbai. This will reduce the travel time by three long hours. Another Canadian start-up known as “TransPod” said that it wants to raise more than 50 million USD to finance their own Hyperloop technology. They also said that they have an aim of ferrying people at a speed of 662 miles an hour.
Criticism of the Idea
With all this achievement, Elon Musk was successful to gather some criticism as well. Many scientists condemned the idea and said that ferrying people at such a speed inside a narrow sealed windowless tube can be dangerous and unpleasant. Secondly, a small change in the ground activities due to seismic disturbances can cause a great damage to the travel route with considerable buffeting. There were questions about the safety and evacuation protocol during accidents.
Japan is successful in achieving the speed of 602 km/h with no vacuum tubes and pressurized tunnels. They have avoided the cost of such a hyperloop pod by using extremely aerodynamic design for the train. They can achieve such a great speed and also save a great deal of money. So, criticisms were common.
Elon Musk was questioned by Prof. John Hansman about the solution of misalignment and problem in the tube caused due to slightest seismic activities. Secondly, he also stated that with this hyperloop pod working, it can be a prime target for the terrorists and this can procure huge damage to the country and its people. With the everyday wear and tear, the hyperloop shall undergo repairs which will be very difficult in a vacuum environment.
In a tweet Elon Musk stated that the above problems will be considered and that’s the reason for the Hyperloop Design Competitions over the few years. This will increase the chances of getting an innovative solution to every problem.
Political pressure from the congress
There’s also been a huge political pressure on Elon Musk. As the politicians demand to know how Elon Musk plans to get returns from the multi-billion project of Hyperloop. According to the rumours, the project will cost 100 Billion USD and this doesn’t include the running costs and other repair done. To this Musk answered that they will install solar panels across the hyperloop line to cover the running costs. Prof. Roger Goodall strongly criticised the solution saying that the propulsion and air pumps will require greater amount of energy than the whole energy produced by the solar panels all together. This is not feasible at all and will costs even more.
Obstacles ahead of Elon Musk
All these criticisms led the downsizing of the company’s share and a loss for Elon Musk. This can slow down the progress but not shatter the objective. The company is still searching for alternate opportunities to make this thing work in real life and resolve the problems in the ways. The SpaceX is also financing another project, Oasis which is aimed at colonizing Mars and make space travel less expensive.
We all hope for such a change and according to some this change is inevitable.