SpaceX has announced a competition to design and build a passenger module for a Hyperloop transportation system.
Hyperloop is the name given to a high-speed transportation system using compressed air to deliver passenger modules at high speed through a low-pressure tube.
SpaceX is owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk. It was founded in 2002, works largely in the sphere of space travel and has set out a mission to enable people to live on other planets. Musk is also chief executive of electric car company Tesla Motors and was a co-founder of PayPal.
SpaceX first mooted the idea of a Hyperloop in 2013 and several private companies are looking into its viability as a transport system.
With its own competition announcement SpaceX is appealing to university students and independent engineering teams, challenging them to design and build a Hyperloop pod, which can be tested next year on a one mile test site constructed by SpaceX.
“Teams will be able to test their human-scale pods during a competition weekend at the track, currently targeted for June 2016. The knowledge gained here will continue to be open-sourced,” according to SpaceX.
The passenger modules will be half-scale and will need to fit within a test-track tube which is between 1.2-1.5 meters in diameter.
Musk first named and proposed the Hyperloop concept in 2013 in response to an approved high-speed railway connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco is the US. He deemed it to be “a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world.”
He set out his Hyperloop solution in this ambitious white paper, which considers the possibility of a subsonic travel system that can transport passengers at speeds of up to 760mph.
To enter the competition head here.
All images by SpaceX