SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition to Focus on Speed, 600 Students Enlisted

Hyperloop pod 1 photo
Photo: SpaceX
Back in 2015, SpaceX announced the Hyperloop Pod Competition, intended to stir university teams into designing and building pods for the high-speed tunnels Elon Musk is dreaming of. There were two legs of the competition until now, held in January and August 2017.
This July, the third leg will take place, once again pitting students against one another to see who can design the fastest pod. With only a month left before the start of the competition, SpaceX announced that more than 600 students from over 40 countries have entered.

“More than 600 students from over 40 countries will demonstrate their Pod designs for a next-generation, high-speed transportation system,” said the company in a tweet.

The pods currently being researched are to be part of the hyperloop system envisioned by Elon Musk. The system comprises in essence two elements: a vacuum tube, be it underground or otherwise, and a capsule to travel through it carrying people or cargo.

In theory, the capsules, or pods, are to be sent shooting through a partially vacuumed tube by some means of magnetic propulsion.

The key to the construction is the vacuumed tube, which in theory could be created by using pumps to suck the air out of the tube. Once that is achieved, the pods can be accelerated by whatever means to a top speed of 760 mph (1,220 kph).

Last August, the winner of the competition was a German student team from the Technical University of Munich. The team created a pod which managed to clock 201 mph (323 kph), a record for this type of vehicle.

Musk and his other company, Boring, are currently in the process of researching the placement of tunnels for the Hyperloop in several cities across the U.S. With the use of such a system, an average trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco could last only 35 minutes.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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