As the world waited anxiously for the 12 boys and coach of the Wild Boar soccer team to be rescued from the Thai cave, ideas and rescue plans were flying around the globe. Could the boys wait until monsoon season ended? Could they survive the swim? The conditions? Thankfully, as conditions worsened and oxygen levels dipped, the boys and their coach were finally rescued and above ground this past Tuesday.
The final resolution was to have the boys individually attached to divers by a thin line, as the lead diver held their oxygen tank and guided them through the narrow submerged path out of the cave. One idea that was almost attempted, was using Elon Musk’s SpaceX submarine. The Billionaire sent an individual, child-sized submarine to the cave hoping to help the rescue efforts and provide a solution where the children did not need to swim or scuba their way out. Musk had good intentions, but ultimately, his mini-submarine was a failure and not practical for the crisis at hand and was left in Thailand in the case that it may be helpful for future cave and water emergencies.
Not surprisingly, Musk faced some backlash for his brainstorming on Twitter (“air tunnel underwater”) and bosting that the sub was made of SpaceX rocket materials and his continued pondering post-rescue. As of today though, Musk has turned his fortune and efforts to U.S. problems and proclaimed on Twitter that he would fund the costs to fix the water system in any house in Flint, Michigan with contamination. The Flint water crisis has been gnawing at the city since 2014.
Musk posted the above photos on his Twitter account captioned: “Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after kids’ soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful.”
For more on Musk and his other ventures please read below for our blog post about his underground Teslas below.
Tesla founder and billionaire, Elon Musk’s, next venture is taking his (electric) cars underground in an elaborate and innovative tunnel system. Originally introduced in April at his TED Talk, Musk wants to rid the roads of traffic by developing tunnels and shuttles for cars that will transport them from point A to point B at 130 miles per hour. The cars would still use the road normally but when needing a quick boost to their next destination they are gently lowered underground – think a hybrid between an elevator and personal parking spot – where they are zipped off through an intricate passage.
A still from the concept video shows a car gently descending underground.
The accompanying video gives an eye opening visual at this massive “pet” project (originally started from a tweet) that Musk wants to see come to life. This vision is backed by The Boring Company, founded by Musk and entirely focused on finding a solution to “soul-destroying traffic.” A spokesperson from The Boring Company stated this week that they “plan to build low-cost, fast-to-dig tunnels that will house new high-speed transportation systems. Most will be standard pressurized tunnels with electric skates going 125+ mph. For long-distance routes in straight lines, such as NY to DC, it will make sense to use pressurized pods in a depressurized tunnel to allow speeds up to approximately 600+ mph (original report from Wired).” By incorporating smart computer technology and evolving infrastructure, The Boring Company hopes to radically change city traffic and how efficiently we can travel.
The tunnel obsession doesn’t stop there. Musk allegedly is now planning to take a more hands on approach and build the Hyperloop with his own company and not rely on outside consultants. Hyperloop is the trademarked concept from Musk that take cargo and/or people and transports then in a tube system at the speed of sound. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) was quickly founded after this concept was introduced in 2013. They are a (very well off) startup of 500 engineers that work for stock options as opposed to salary. Musk hopes this massive team will push his underground tunnels and Hyperloop closer to it’s conception.
Note: Banner image courtesy of Slash Gear.