Author: Adam

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop tube is gone

Elon Musk's Hyperloop tube is gone

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop prototype tube is gone. What does it mean for his tunneling dream?

Elon Musk’s prototype Hyperloop tunnel is gone.

The tunnel, conceived as a transportation alternative, is a big, low-profile tube, roughly the size of a conventional subway vehicle. The tube’s length could be more than half a mile.

Its design is similar to Musk’s vision of a Hyperloop system: It would be used by passengers for short journeys within a major city, similar to the technology’s use of vacuum tubes to fly people from London to Paris in the 1950s.

But the Hyperloop tube vanished last Saturday, when Musk said he had to halt it due to a problem with the tunnel’s design.

Musk originally set his Hyperloop tube design at 9 miles per hour, meaning it would be able to take a passenger from London to Paris in 26 minutes — but, as it turns out, only a passenger seated in the middle. (This is compared to the train’s usual top speed of 300 mph.) At 7 miles per hour, a passenger traveling in the middle of the tube could cover the 888-mile trip in about 37 minutes. The tube currently costs $750,000 to build.

Musk said he will continue working on the Hyperloop tube and is confident it will be a reality, but he said the tube’s failure is a reminder that Hyperloop will not be the instant answer for transportation he had in mind.

“We would have loved to have launched this thing in a game-changing leap forward,” he told Gizmodo.

Musk was interviewed about his failed Hyperloop tube by a YouTube video editor named Jeff Chang who runs a science show on the popular video website.

According to Chang, Musk told him that SpaceX’s Hyperloop tunnel would be 10 times faster than the tube. Musk’s Hyperloop plans, unlike Musk’s, are still in the planning stage, he said. “The goal is not to reach warp speed,” Chang told Musk in comments he said he later posted on the Musk-related blog, Medium.

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