SpaceX announces design competition for Hyperloop

SpaceX announces design competition for Hyperloop
This conceptual design rendering provided by SpaceX shows a Hyperloop passenger transport capsule within a tube, the core of a high-speed system that billionaire Elon Musk suggested two years ago, that would zoom passenger capsules through elevated tubes at the speed of sound. The 400-mile trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco would take a half-hour. Musk's company, SpaceX, announced Monday, June 15, 2015 that it plans to build a one-mile test track next to its headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. The company will hold a competition there next year with teams testing designs for Hyperloop passenger pods.(SpaceX via AP)

Billionaire Elon Musk wants to jump-start his Hyperloop high-speed transit system.

Musk's rocket-building company, SpaceX, announced Monday that it plans to build a 1-mile test track next to its headquarters in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne and will hold a competition there next year to test designs for passenger-carrying Hyperloop pods.

It's the first time Musk's company has been directly involved in the Hyperloop project, although several private firms are pursuing research.

Suggested by Musk two years ago, the idea is to zoom passenger capsules through elevated tubes between Los Angeles and San Francisco at speeds of up to 750 mph. The concept pulls together several proven technologies: Capsules would float on a thin cushion of air and draw on magnetic attraction and solar power to zoom through a nearly airless tube. With little wind resistance, the capsules could reach the speed of sound and the 400-mile ride would take a half-hour.

The competition aims to attract independent and university engineering teams who will design and test half-scale models of the pods. The submission deadline is Sept. 15 and the competition is roughly scheduled for next June.

Online forms for those intending to compete are available at: www.Spacex.com/hyperloop.

SpaceX announces design competition for Hyperloop
This artist rendering provided by SpaceX shows a banner that will be used to promote a competition involving the Hyperloop passenger transport system, that billionaire Elon Musk suggested two years ago, that would zoom passenger capsules through elevated tubes at the speed of sound. The 400-mile trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco would take a half-hour. Musk's company, SpaceX, announced Monday, June 15, 2015 that it plans to build a one-mile test track next to its headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. The company will hold a competition there next year with teams testing designs for Hyperloop passenger pods. (SpaceX via AP)
"While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype," a statement on the site read.

There was no immediate word on the nature of the prize. Full rules and other details will be released in August.

Next January, entrants will meet for a design weekend at Texas A&M University. The designs will be presented before an evaluation panel composed mainly of engineers from SpaceX and Musk's luxury electric-car company, Tesla Motors, and university professors.

Private companies will be able to use the weekend to choose teams to sponsor and fund.

SpaceX said it also probably will build its own pod for demonstration purposes but its team won't be eligible to win the competition. The company also will have the final say on who actually gets to use the test track.

SpaceX announces design competition for Hyperloop
This conceptual design rendering provided by SpaceX shows a Hyperloop passenger transport capsule, at a station ready to take on passengers, the core of a high-speed system that billionaire Elon Musk suggested two years ago, that would zoom passenger capsules through elevated tubes at the speed of sound. The 400-mile trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco would take a half-hour. Musk's company, SpaceX, announced Monday, June 15, 2015 that it plans to build a one-mile test track next to its headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. The company will hold a competition there next year with teams testing designs for Hyperloop passenger pods.(SpaceX via AP)

There's no word yet on the cost of that track.

Musk has suggested that building an actual Hyperloop system would cost $6 billion, although others suggest the figure will be much higher.

SpaceX announces design competition for Hyperloop
This conceptual design rendering provided by SpaceX shows a Hyperloop passenger transport capsule within a tube, the core of a high-speed system that billionaire Elon Musk suggested two years ago, that would zoom passenger capsules through elevated tubes at the speed of sound. The 400-mile trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco would take a half-hour. Musk's company, SpaceX, announced Monday, June 15, 2015 that it plans to build a one-mile test track next to its headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. The company will hold a competition there next year with teams testing designs for Hyperloop passenger pods.(SpaceX via AP)

One company researching the concept is Hyperloop Technologies Inc., which has its world headquarters in Los Angeles. That company is working to raise $80 million needed to build a 5-mile test track.

It'-s co-chaired by venture capitalist and Uber underwriter Shervin Pishevar and former PayPal COO David O. Sacks.

SpaceX announces design competition for Hyperloop
This conceptual design rendering provided by SpaceX shows a Hyperloop passenger transport capsule within a tube, the core of a high-speed system that billionaire Elon Musk suggested two years ago, that would zoom passenger capsules through elevated tubes at the speed of sound. The 400-mile trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco would take a half-hour. Musk's company, SpaceX, announced Monday, June 15, 2015 that it plans to build a one-mile test track next to its headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. The company will hold a competition there next year with teams testing designs for Hyperloop passenger pods. (SpaceX via AP)

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Jun 15, 2015
I hold in high regard the progress that SpaceX and its Merlin rocket engines have made in the drive to privatize space launches, admittedly a fortuitous entry at a time when there was a void to be filled by the retirement of the space shuttle. I just hope that Elon doesn't over-extend himself to the extent that lack of profitability in all those ventures of his impacts on the future of SpaceX. NASA contracts are a good buffer, but a tenuous one I think, as they are periodically subject to the whims of government administrations as they change from election to election. I wish him success.

Jun 16, 2015
As I see it we have here another corporate welfare queen. From electric car subsidies, the only thing that kept them going, to superfluous house batteries charged with electricity 30 times the regular rate, to so much hated regulations and government contracts that finance and insure his Wall Street investors pouring money into obsolete 60 years old rocket technology.

I will take all that back if he assumes his truly pioneering role, not of revered celebrity entrepreneur but rather of the lab rat to be first catapulted in his suicidal hyperloop into posterity. Similarly to his lunatic colleague they have uncanny talents to device another ingenuous contraption to depart this world with a style suited for rich and famous.

Come to think of it, I am not really against that but don't we have at least thousand different ways to kill ourselves, including laughter of insane ideas?

I found this for skeptics:
https://contraria...science/

Jun 16, 2015
Glad to see Elon pushing this forward, i hope this technology comes to fruition and comes to the rest of the world, amazing!

Jun 20, 2015
Without pioneering we would still be cowering on earth or sitting on trees having copied the latter from the apes, but would not have dared yet venturing into caves.

I hope they will succeed!

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