Elon Musk on the Science of a Martian Hyperloop

Monday, 08 February 2016 - 1:55PM
Space
Mars
Monday, 08 February 2016 - 1:55PM
Elon Musk on the Science of a Martian Hyperloop

Elon Musk's vision of a hyperloop is slowly but surely becoming a reality, but even though we don't actually have one on Earth yet, he's already looking forward to building a hyperloop on Mars. When asked at the award ceremony of his Hyperloop Design Competition whether the hyperloop could have other applications, such as travel on Mars, he responded with his typical Muskian optimism and pioneering spirit: "Oh, sure, yeah."


He went onto explain that in some ways, it would be easier to build a means of high-speed travel on Mars than on Earth, since the air density is so much lower. As a result, there is much less air resistance to slow down a moving object.

Opening quote
"Actually, on Mars you basically just need a track," he said. "On Earth, the air density is quite high, but on Mars it's 1% of Earth's density.

You might just be able to just have a road, honestly. [It would] go pretty fast."
Closing quote

A hyperloop on Mars would also necessarily be "greener" than one on Earth, as the absence of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere precludes the burning of fossil fuels.

Opening quote
"It would obviously have to be electric because there's no oxygen," Musk said. "So you'd have to have really fast electric cars or trains or things."
Closing quote

At the award ceremony, he recognized MIT as the first place winner of his Hyperloop Design Competition. Their pod design is 8.2 feet long and 3.2 feet wide, and can can potentially reach speeds of up to 245 miles per hour. As the winner for best overall design, the team will have the opportunity to build and test their track using SpaceX facilities sometime this year. 


Via Business Insider.

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