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The Race to Create Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Heats Up

The Race to Create Elon Musk s Hyperloop Heats Up WSJ


This is the dream billionaire inventor Elon Musk unleashed on Aug. 12, 2013, when he posted a white paper on the website of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX. Titled “Hyperloop Alpha,” the paper contained notes toward what Musk called the fifth mode of transport—the other four being planes, trains, automobiles and boats. California’s proposal for a high-speed rail project had offended Musk’s sense of the state that has historically dreamed up America’s future. After skewering the proposed system (“one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world”), Musk issued an open-source design challenge: a 28-passenger solar-powered pod capable of levitating through a system of tubes almost at the speed of sound, with a one-way ticket price of $20 and a total building cost estimated at $6 billion, less than a tenth of the budget for California’s high-speed rail project.

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Here's a fun Reddit comment:

The year is 2032, 7:30 AM. You are walking to the hyperloop 2.0 station near your home in Muskton (previously known as Buffalo) to your office in New York City at the Tesla East Coast Branch plant. The hyperloop 2.0 requires no pod; you simply enter the tube and go hurtling towards your destination. You hold onto your briefcase and hop in, expecting to be in Manhattan within 10 minutes. It’s a day like any other; this is how you’ve gone to work for the past 5 years. This is how everyone goes to work. But something different happens this morning. You are rerouted at Ithaca, and start heading West. You shout to stop, but the automated system doesn’t let you off at the next station. You continue hurtling through the tube, and the traffic in front of you and behind you begins to increase steadily. Your—and everyone’s—speed increases to speeds you’ve never reached before. You can barely read the station signs that whiz by you. Scranton, St. Louis, Santa Fe. Little do you know, but every single hyperloop 2.0 tube in the country is being rerouted in the same way. 5 miles outside of Mountain View, you suddenly slam into the person infront of you, and the person behind you slams into you similarly. You shout out: your limbs have been crushed. Your spine has been crushed. You and everyone in the tube are now paralyzed and in agony, packed tightly together. You can barely breathe. People are screaming. The screaming echoes within the tube. Slowly, the tube starts back up. You continue forward but at a slower pace, now tightly pressed into this mass of humanity. A light appears at the end of the tube, and you catch a glimpse of a gigantic room. People are slowly being poured out of the tube like water out of a spigot, into a giant chamber. The mass of humanity is writhing and crying; no one is able to pull themselves out. As you fall onto the massive pile of humanity, you’re able to glance upwards, and you see him standing there. Elon Musk, about 15 feet above you, standing on what looks like a solid gold diving board. He’s wearing a full-body, old-time bathing suit from the 20s and a diving cap. Singing a song, he dives head first into the pile. He begins to swim around. His hands push against you as he swims past you. He is swimming in the mass of humanity. Everyone is crying. He continues to sing.

1000+ Reddit comments say this article is poorly written because the journalist does not understand science:

Nevertheless, Hyperloop is exciting!

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