Thursday 27 October 2016

SpaceX: Elon Musk to build mile-long Hyperloop track to test high-speed space transport system

James Titcomb

Published 16/06/2015 | 07:51

Elon Musk has announced that he plans to build a one-mile track to test his Hyperloop concept, opening a competition for people to design transportation pods.

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The American technology billionaire's space travel company, SpaceX, will build a test track outside its headquarters in California, it was announced on Monday.

It comes almost two years after Mr Musk outlined the plans for the 800 mile-per-hour Hyperloop, which is designed to transport individuals between cities at breakneck speeds.

Mr Musk, who made billions from PayPal, is the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla, as well as SpaceX, which plans to make space travel significantly cheaper. The company ultimately wants to help colonise other planets.

On Monday, SpaceX said it would host a competition for "university students and independent engineering teams" to build pods for the Hyperloop, and was building a test track to speed up the concept's development.

"Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies. While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype," the company said.

It will hold a competition in June 2016 to test the best designs.

When Mr Musk unveiled the Hyperloop concept in 2013, he said it would be a cheaper and quicker alternative to railways and other public transport.

He claims a network from Los Angeles to San Francisco would cost around $6 billion, a tenth of a proposed high-speed train, and that it would reduce the time it takes to get between cities to half an hour.

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