back to article POD RACING: SpaceX will build the Hyperloop railgun tube-way – you bring the ride

Elon Musk's private space transport company SpaceX is throwing its weight behind Musk's concept of the Hyperloop ground transport system, although it says it's not doing it to make money. "Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies," the firm said in an online post on Monday. "While we are not …

  1. Martin Budden Silver badge


    When an organisation tries to develop something new* they often get stuck on the first idea they think of, and by the time they realise there was a much better direction it's too late and they are already committed to keep going along the same path. By crowdsourcing ideas, Hyperloop has the opportunity to test multiple possible solutions before choosing the best. This seems like a sensible idea to me.

    *previous atmospheric railways, maglevs, etc notwithstanding ;-)

    1. annodomini2

      Re: crowdsourcing

      You have to remember this is a business, on the flip side, they are getting a load of conceptual and prototyping engineering work done for free.

      Some may argue it's an opportunity for those who are inexperienced to get themselves noticed, which is true.

      They're still working for free with a high probability of getting absolutely nothing for that work.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The only question I can see is the time between saying "yes, we'll enter" and "time to make 'em go" sufficient. Reading the document shows a pretty tight schedule (1 year) from entrance to track-time.

    This could produce some interesting tech and results.

  3. Atomic Duetto

    No human will ride

    What about a pod full of playful kittens, simply to increase exposure on YouTube.

    1. frank ly

      Re: No human will ride

      "Meew meow, meeooooww meow?"

      "I'm sorry, Fluffy; I'm afraid I can't do that."

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: No human will ride

        So instead of a sticky Garfield stuck on the window, it will be a real live kitty going through 6Gs of acceleration.. Could be amusing to see how what happens when someone re-opens the pod door..

        Here kitty kitty, my eyes, my eyes..... where's my shotgun.

        1. DropBear

          Re: No human will ride

          They should be fine as long as there aren't any flies trapped with them in the pod. ...Huh? What? Oh, different pod? Sorry...

    2. hplasm

      Re: No human will ride

      Each pod must contain 1 (one) cheese.

      Also: This ain't no train- it's a test-bed magneti-gun spaceship launcher!

    3. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: No human will ride

      Reminds me of the old joke: what did the cat on a motorbike say?


      1. James Cane

        Re: No human will ride

        I'm sorry, but I was compelled to downvote that.

        1. Martin Budden Silver badge

          Re: No human will ride

          My seven-year-old loves that joke, from which I conclude that he has a much more refined sense of humour than you :-P

  4. Esme

    maybe it's just me

    but I don't like Musk's hyperloop idea one little bit. What happens if there's a breakdown? How are passengers got out of the thing?

    And that's quite aside from my mild claustrophobia. Nope, I think I'll take more conventional transport, ta very.

  5. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

    What speeds up also needs to slow down.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but surely the test vehicle will have to stop, and if it fails to stop on it's own, there'll will need to be a way to stop it without killing the occupants, whether these are just guinea pigs, or guinea pigs of the human variety. How on earth can this be achieved on a track only a mile long?

    Add to this the fact that the technology is likely to result in an acceleration that is totally pants (a technical term that I'm guessing Mr Musk will be familiar with).

    And the result I'm predicting will be some rather embarrassingly slow tests. Or a decision quite soon to spend a few millions on a longer track.

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