Hyperloop announces receipt of 125 student designs

Since June a number of students have taken part in inventor-cum-scientist Elon Musk's competition to design a pod for his futuristic invention the hyperloop.

Students from UCLA have been helping the team come up with designs for the hyperloop

Students from UCLA have been helping the team come up with designs for the hyperloop Image by Designmilk / CC BY 2.0

Yesterday, the hyperloop's Twitter account tweeted: "Excited to have received over 125 student preliminary design briefings last week! Looking forward to the January @TAMU Design Weekend"

The hyperloop is the last in a series of inventions by Elon Musk, the man behind PayPal,  SpaceX and the CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla. Musk's concept for the hyperloop is to shoot passengers in capsules along a rail at the speed of sound. The idea was conceived specifically to join up the 381 miles between San Francisco and Los Angeles, as Musk believes the hyperloop would make the journey possible in 30 minutes, half the time it currently takes in a plane.

The capsules would carry people, and possibly even cars,  in low-pressure tubes to minimise turbulence and allow them to move faster. They would move along by floating on a cushion of air created by the high speed at which they're moving. The tubes would be attached to pylons and magnets would also be employed to keep the capsules balanced and steady.

In his blog post about the invention, Musk described why the hyperloop was important: "Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome (someone please do this), the only option for super-fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment."

Elon Musk, the inventor and millionaire behind the hyperloop project

Elon Musk, the inventor and millionaire behind the hyperloop project Image by Tesla Club Belgium / CC BY 2.0

Although it might seem confusing to the layman, it makes sense to engineers and inventors, with the team at the newly formed Hyperloop Transportation Technologies being made up employees from NASA, Boeing, Airbus, Space X, and Yahoo. What's more hyperloop has been working closely with students and graduates from UCLA, and launched its student challenge in the summer to get students to submit designs for the hyperloop capsules.

The receipt of the student designs makes the hyperloop project one step closer to being viable and within its projected timeline of completion.

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