Elon Musk says the next Hyperloop competition will be in a six mile, curved tunnel – TechCrunch

Elon Musk plans to change Hyperloop student engineering competition as his company SpaceX has been running for the past four years. Next year's competition will be done in a tunnel that is over six miles long, said SpaceX general manager on Twitter on Sunday, with a curve instead of being in a straight line as the current, 3/4 mile test tunnel on SpaceX's Hawthorne HQ.

It's a big change, and one that it is unclear how and where SpaceX will make it happen, given that the current test tunnel may support an additional "200m", according to Boring Company President Steve Davis speaking at this year's Hyperloop Pod Competition finals earlier this Sunday.

Davis and Musk discussed expanding the tunnel on stage, but it sounded like they were planning a relatively small extension next year, with Musk musing that they will probably be able to build a longer, boring company-dug tunnel for three years from now. for use in the annual student challenge.

"I don't think we want a long enough, just enough tunnel tunnel a year from now, but I think three years from now we definitely want," Musk said during a Q&A on the competition. "So figure three years from now, we'll at least have a couple of miles […] now, then you can really move."

Musk also took the opportunity to start a new engineering competition around The Boring Cos's main mission: Tunneling.

"We might be doing a tunneling competition, it might be good," said Musk. "We are considering a tunneling competition," he concluded after a few seconds with the thought.

"I think a tunneling thing would be pretty exciting," Musk later said in response to a follow-up question by one of the student team members on the spot. "Because, as I just articulate, the primary challenge is how to tunneling effectively, especially how to add reinforcing segments and get dirt out effectively – it's harder than it seems."

Current digging technology can only get close to -glacial pace, and Musk said that if we could get up to about a tenth of the speed, or about a mile every three minutes, there would be a big change in the ability to build a 3D network of underground transport [19659003] Because of its tweet later on Sunday night, Musk has achieved a way to increase the distance to the test tunnel, but based on his previous comments on when to expect to see an underground tunnel dug far and right enough , it seems unlikely that the answer will be an underground tunnel yet.

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