Elon asks for hypersonic travel, Las Vegas answers right back
In a remote Las Vegas desert, Hyperloop One successfully launched a sled at 120 miles per hour down a 58-meter-long track. Those numbers might not be much of an eye-catcher, but the feat is impressive given that it was the first testing of an open air propulsion launch based on Hyperloop, a futuristic transit technology. If you don't speak the native Silicon Valley tongue, it's basically a totally swag transit tube straight-out from the Jetsons and Back to the Future.
The Hyperloop became a hot topic when Paypal Mafia consigliere Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX decided to criticize the California "high speed" rail project by proposing a solution that was faster, cleaner and considerably more Star Wars-friendly.The Hyperloop is a mode of transporting cargo and passengers through airless vacuum tubes via a levitating pod that is jettisoned to hypersonic speeds of up to 700 miles per hour using magnetic induction.
Musk rubbed his figurative excrement all over the $60bil. California high-speed rail project by calling it an insult to Silicon Valley's spirit of creating the novel and outstanding. According to Musk, this rail project, whose maximum speed pales in comparison to counterparts installed in Japan, China and South Korea, is the slowest and most expensive per mile modern transport infrastructure in the world. Hence, shit.
Musk gathered his engineer avengers in his doomsday lair of SpaceX and Tesla to conjure concepts for the Hyperloop; it would potentially transit pods from San Francisco to LA in 30 minutes(a tenth of the time it would take for the California high-speed rail system) and would cost a "measly" $6 bil. So Mosk could probably pay for it out of his own pocket check book.
Musk open-sourced his Hyperloop designs and now we have two companies, Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies(HTT), that have emerged to tackle the prospects of building these killer transit systems. With Hyperloop One successfully testing its technology in Las Vegas on Wednesday, their hopes of creating a fully operational transit system by 2020 seems well under way. HTT too is making great progressions with their uncanny business strategies of paying part-time engineers only in stock-options(no salary) and giving them job-titles like Hypermaster — just imagine the self-satisfaction of introducing yourself as 'Hypermaster' of HTT.
Hyperloop runs on solar-power electric energy fields that in turn power magnetic induction(I'm having a Spock moment) so theoretically it also fits the fashionable 'green-energy' hashtag. So yes, the successful launch of a dusty sled in Las Vegas is a big deal. HTT has recently signed a deal with the Slovakian government to install their Hyperloop cargo lines in the industrially burgeoning country. Hyperloop One is also on track to close similar deals with Sweden and Finland.
However, due to rigid regulations, it'll probably be awhile before these Jetson pods free US residents from the hellgates of domestic flight. Like medicare, it wouldn't be the first time the US falls behind Scandinavia. If Trump becomes the boss on November, say bye-bye to Hyperloop as the tech will probably be labeled a Socialist monstrosity. In any case, we are given yet another reason to kneel before the glory that is Elon Musk.