Author Topic: The Hyperloop: BUSTED  (Read 75446 times)

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Offline LazyJack

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2016, 08:44:58 am »
Before we all go ahead and solve all possible engineering challenges of Hyperloop in this topic. Do not forget, that the set of engineering problems that may be solved is much much larger that the set of problems financially feasible to solve. Since eventually someone has to pay the bill, that is a very big limiting factor. Would a government (or crowd funding, or investors somehow convinced) commit unlimited money, I bet Hyperloop would come very quickly into existence, just as the Moon landing happened.
Look at for example microelectronics. The astronomical cost of a new generation fab is now much more limiting in getting more transistors squeezed on a chip than physics itself.

Of course, there is an other aspect of getting investors with false claims, then grab the money and run. But that is not engineering, but simple fraud, dressed into a nice engineering dress. I'm not saying that Hyperloop is this, but this is definitely a high profile case of creating the "we can solve anything, just give me money" type image.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2016, 09:31:28 am »
Can someone please explain to me the requirement for the Hyperloop (apart from being cool), with all it's inherent engineering problems, over a MegLev train?
Sure it's potentially twice the speed (so they claim), but what else? Nothing, just downsides. MagLev exists, works, is fairly robust, and has only had one(?) fatal accident, and that was a collision cause by human error.
Heck, what's that passenger capacity vs the two? MagLev might actually have greater throughput. The Shanghai one is 574 passenger capacity.

With all the ridiculous engineering requirements and potential failure points worth twice the speed? (even if it was possible)
Again, it's like Solar Roadways, solar panels aren't nearly as sexy an idea, but infinitely more practical.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:36:29 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline Brutte

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2016, 09:50:51 am »
Also suggesting the only viable topology is a linear one is flawed. Any topology is technically possible, including star, mesh etc. Single point failure won't stop whole infrastructure.

The question is about the:
a) investment cost,
b) running cost
c) durability
d) interest rate

-The interest rate is same for both Hyperloop and competing airplanes.
-The durability is not. Together with interest rate, it influences economics - durability of infrastructure can be an important  decision factor.
-the investment cost per passenger*km, because of the infrastructure of that 600km...
-The running cost is tempting - no pilots on-board, automation in isolated environment, low friction, low energy usage, decent speed.

Now lets do some ballpark calculations for the 600km route and the relation in between the price and time it takes to travel that distance nowadays. In a modeled scenario one can comfortably load 4 people to a "33m/s car" (120km/h average) that in EU highway conditions does that 600km using 6*7dm3/100km*1Eur/dm3. Thus 10.5 euro and 5 man*hours per person might be assumed realistic.
Same could be done if you go to/from a hyperloop station (arbitrary 2*40 minutes, assume 0 eur) plus 40 minutes of "flight", gives 2h. How much over that 10.5 eur would you be willing to spend for the saved 3h?

If your travel time is worth 15 eur/hour for you then 10.5eur + 5h is a tie with 55.5eur + 2h. Ask more and the 15eur passenger that commutes 1h20 minutes from/to terminal won't bite.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2016, 11:24:57 am »
Can someone please explain to me the requirement for the Hyperloop (apart from being cool), with all it's inherent engineering problems, over a MegLev train?
I have the feeling that people NEED some new mega-structure. Look at history. Pyramids, the great wall, Hoover dam, skyscrapers bigger and bigger. Today by the looks of it it is not enought to convert the entire world into a blob with internet access every square meters, road networks everywhere, oil pipes going through continents. The largest brige is "just" a bridge. They want space elevators, hyperloop, colonize the moon or build a halo over the globe. The bigger the better.

BTW, Concorde became 30 year old, extremely expensive to operate and buy tickets.
 

Offline hayatepilot

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2016, 12:43:01 pm »
Also suggesting the only viable topology is a linear one is flawed. Any topology is technically possible, including star, mesh etc. Single point failure won't stop whole infrastructure.

The question is about the:
a) investment cost,
b) running cost
c) durability
d) interest rate

-The interest rate is same for both Hyperloop and competing airplanes.
-The durability is not. Together with interest rate, it influences economics - durability of infrastructure can be an important  decision factor.
-the investment cost per passenger*km, because of the infrastructure of that 600km...
-The running cost is tempting - no pilots on-board, automation in isolated environment, low friction, low energy usage, decent speed.

Now lets do some ballpark calculations for the 600km route and the relation in between the price and time it takes to travel that distance nowadays. In a modeled scenario one can comfortably load 4 people to a "33m/s car" (120km/h average) that in EU highway conditions does that 600km using 6*7dm3/100km*1Eur/dm3. Thus 10.5 euro and 5 man*hours per person might be assumed realistic.
Same could be done if you go to/from a hyperloop station (arbitrary 2*40 minutes, assume 0 eur) plus 40 minutes of "flight", gives 2h. How much over that 10.5 eur would you be willing to spend for the saved 3h?

If your travel time is worth 15 eur/hour for you then 10.5eur + 5h is a tie with 55.5eur + 2h. Ask more and the 15eur passenger that commutes 1h20 minutes from/to terminal won't bite.

The costs of a car is a LOT more than just the fuel costs. You forgot the insurance and more importantly depreciation and maintenance.
Costs per km for a new car ranges from 0.40$ to 0.60$ .
So the 600km trip costs more like 250$...

But of course that makes the hyperloop idea not more viable, there are just too many risks and problems.
 

Offline Brutte

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2016, 01:32:58 pm »
Costs per km for a new car ranges from 0.40$ to 0.60$ .
Well, I was trying to make a ballpark comparison of the scenario where 4 people (family/pals/coworkers/commuters etc) want to travel from A to B and it happens these two points are 600km apart.

As for the total cost of owning a car - I do agree there you also need whole infrastructure and there are additional costs involved. Same with airplanes and with hyperloop.
However, what hyperloop competing against as a company/project are mainly the running costs of other options (here a car). I also do agree that nowadays a passenger car is not a very endure asset, it is being scarped after 200k:300k km.
Ok, so add 25k eur/300k km *600km  and it gives additional 12.5eur per person for the investment cost of the car. That ramps up the ticket price from 55.5eur to 68eur per person.

Quote
So the 600km trip costs more like 250$...
68eur*4=299$ as of today  ^-^

So if the average wage and the value of an hour in some region is 15eur/h and there are enough customers within that 1h20min to/from range then a 68eur ticket per person is "within range".
-If it is twice as that, at 136eur, the project won't get serious attention and volume.
-If it is half as that, at 34eur, you are unlikely to meet <4 people of 15eur/h traveling from A to B by car.

What I wanted to point out is the top limit one can pull out of that hyperloop. If you want more then either find A and B where there are no roads in between (some straight) or where you can count on higher salaries than the 15eur/h or you can force some governmental restrictions on road traffic. I also understand that if the hyperloop is safer than other means, you can ramp up that 68eur a little bit. People are also likely to pay for an additional comfort, lower environmental impact, etc.
YMMV.

 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2016, 02:40:01 pm »

 
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Offline boffin

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2016, 03:22:02 pm »
The fallen one, if my memory serves me correctly, is an AirFrance one. The poor thing was hit by a debris coming from a poorly maintained PanAm.
The ultimate reason of Concorde being phased out, IMHO, is solely for cost reasons. By that time, new generation B767 and B777 have astonishing fuel efficiency and can also offer smooth traveling experience.

Debris from a GE CF6 as dropped by a Continental DC-10, not PanAm.


 

Offline Maxlor

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2016, 03:24:52 pm »
Unconvincing bust. He simplifies things quite a bit, takes several cheap shots, and doesn't allow for any obvious or less obvious solutions to the fatal problems he mentions. I like Dave's busting videos better, they seem to be more solid.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2016, 04:55:28 pm »
Yes, I can see that Solar Roadways are a silly idea, but when it comes to the Hyperloop I'm prepared to sit this one out for a while and see if anything realistic is produced. So, here's a target off the top of my head

A 5 Km Hyperloop test track within the next five years.

If I don't see that then I'll just write the idea off, but Musk has been associated with two ideas so far which people said would never work and, surprise surprise, we now have viable electric cars and reusable rockets.

Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline TheAmmoniacal

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2016, 05:44:44 pm »
Unconvincing bust. He simplifies things quite a bit, takes several cheap shots, and doesn't allow for any obvious or less obvious solutions to the fatal problems he mentions. I like Dave's busting videos better, they seem to be more solid.

That's because he's not debunking the concept - but the product Hyperloop as presented by the company. All their claims are obviously wrong, and he convincingly shows this.

You can make the Hyperloop, but the technical challenges are equivalent to or even bigger than landing on the moon (imho) - you can't do this on a $25 a ticket (or whatever the estimated price per ticket was). In fact, it will never be a financially viable competitor to existing ways of transport.
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Offline rstofer

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2016, 07:14:56 pm »
I wouldn't have thought it possible for a launch vehicle to land in an upright orientation but, somehow, it's happening.
In steam pipes, thermal expansion is taken up in S bends of the piping.  Somehow, I think that problem is solvable.  How about circulating liquid nitrogen through the 'rail' or whatever.  OK, nitrogen might be a poor choice but there must be some way to keep expansion under control.

The rest is just details!
 

Offline apis

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2016, 07:50:55 pm »
Maintaining even a low pressure inside a 600 km tube with the safety implications is not doable IMO.
Shanghai Maglev ticket is $8/single journey, compared to metro it is 12 times more expensive. Still, the government pays hundreds of millions CNY per year to maintain it.
It would be interesting to see a privately operated 800kphmph (wtf? supersonic?) tube running and actually making money.
I didn't know there was a maglev track in operation! :D

And yep, even if they are able to solve all the technical problems and safety issues, the question is if they can do it in an economically viable way.

A lot problems can be solved more or less "easily" if you can throw money at them, the tricky part is making things in an efficient and cost effective manner that still have the performance you want.
 

Offline System Error Message

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2016, 01:26:46 am »
Qantas 32 had lots of error messages :P

I think the hyperloop is inefficient. The tube system in futurama even though much slower would be much more efficient as theres no vacuum, just pump air and only deal with the weight of people rather than capsules + people. Since everyone is transported individually there will not be any need for waiting so traffic going in and out will be smooth. This would mean a lot less cars and fuel.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2016, 01:36:06 am »
Unconvincing bust. He simplifies things quite a bit, takes several cheap shots, and doesn't allow for any obvious or less obvious solutions to the fatal problems he mentions.

Perhaps you like to explain those solutions in detail then?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2016, 01:37:31 am »
Qantas 32 had lots of error messages :P

It was crazy!
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2016, 01:40:23 am »
I didn't know there was a maglev track in operation! :D

Yep, I've been on it. Got a photo of the 400+kmh speedometer sign somewhere, but can't find it. It was awesome. The train passing in the other direction at the same speed was insane!
 

Offline Mark_Of_Sanity

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2016, 04:51:44 am »
What if this was only used for transporting cargo until they felt like they absolutely nailed
the human safety issue? It would eliminate limits on deceleration and what not.

Also I want to post something very interesting that was mentioned by someone else on this project.
I don't know much about gasses so hoping someone who does know can check if it's right.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/4udgd2/the_hyperloop_one_busted_by_the_youtube/

By Hwillis

"...
Decompression Shockwaves: He clearly did not do any math. The hyperloop is 300,000 times longer than it is wide. The flow into the tube is extremely limited over distance. 2km from the breach, flow will be slowed to 5%. Assuming air is indeed rushing in at the speed of sound, air will only be moving 80mph in the tube 2km from the breach. Perfectly safe.

Additionally, in order to get that fast flow, you need to destroy a section of tube entirely. A hole half a meter wide would cause 6% the flow of a fully open tube. You need an fully open tube, not a breach or leak, in order to cause a dangerous failure. A bullet, grenade or even a car crash would not be enough to do that. Since the sudden change in air pressure is gonna try to shut the tube as well, this circumstance is extremely unlikely. This shutting effect would only be at the end of the tube, since the crushing effect would only happen for a very brief time, and the tube is very strong. It's made of the same thickness of steel they use to cover large holes in the road.
"

He cites two equation websites for his reduced flow claim.

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pressure-drop-compressed-air-pipes-d_852.html

http://www.tlv.com/global/TI/calculator/water-flow-rate-through-orifice.html#

Moving on, another interesting example of a long vacuum tube is the LIGO experiment built to detect gravity waves.

https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/page/vacuum

They state,

"LIGO’s vacuum tubes were constructed of spiral-welded 304L stainless steel a mere 3 mm thick."

"The 1.2 m diameter beam tubes were created in 19 to 20 m-long segments, rolled into a tube with a continuous spiral weld (far left photo). While a mathematically perfect cylinder will not collapse under pressure, any small imperfection in a real tube would allow it to buckle (a crushed vacuum tube would be catastrophic). To prevent collapse, LIGO's tubes are supported with stiffener rings that provide a significant layer of resistance to buckling under the extreme pressure of the atmosphere. The tubes must withstand these stresses for at least 20 years."



 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2016, 05:32:16 am »
Certainly, it's not going to be vulnerable to, say, small arms fire.  The number of people in possession of AP or HE munitions is probably small.  But, still, a valid risk, given the kind of people we have here...

The greatest challenge is, even if all these problems are solved (which I believe they can be), the fact will remain that it's preposterously expensive (way more than the initial estimate, to solve all the initially-unforeseen challenges, and to solve other problems as they arise), and worst of all, just a big overly-important financial circle-jerk for the backers (who will win and who will lose? Take a spin on Hyperloop Of Fortune!).

As with all things: follow the money.  Who gets paid, who gets shafted?  That's a bit of research I'd like to see.

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Offline hayatepilot

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2016, 05:58:12 am »
The california high speed rail from los angeles to san francisco will cost $68billion to construct. That is for a conventional train.
How on earth is Hyperloop going to build the whole thing for 1/10th the price of a conventional rail?? This is pure BS.
It would more likely cost in the region of $100billion...

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/050815/elon-musks-hyperloop-economically-feasible.asp
 

Offline ConKbot

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2016, 06:29:15 am »
Unconvincing bust. He simplifies things quite a bit, takes several cheap shots, and doesn't allow for any obvious or less obvious solutions to the fatal problems he mentions.

Perhaps you like to explain those solutions in detail then?

Well for the joints,  rather than a sliding joint for expansion, a simple bellows connection between each pipe segment would be simple and effective. Works in real high vacuum systems and for oil pipelines.  An emergency shutter to block any uncontrolled venting if the next car isn't going to hit it, etc. 

I'm sure there isn't going to be just a vacuum pumping station at either end,  so why not combine the shutter, pumping station and an emergency exit/station into one unit.

I also found the turbine / turbomolecular pump comparisons a bit lacking in substance.   (Turbomolecular pumps go this fast, turbines only go this fast)   
Sure, they are going to need a pressure ratio of 750-1000:1,  and jet engines are usually 20-40:1,  and turbo pumps are much higher. But at uhv, the physics get a lot different, and turbopumps don't even operate at 1 mbar like they want to operate the hyperloop at.  Sure its an engineering task, but not insurmountable.  It would be interesting to know what someone with experience in the field would say about it.

Honestly, I find the idea of metal fatigue in the passengers compartment, and station area much more concerning than some of the issues pointed out.  Luckily it doesnt need to be  as light as airplanes.
 

Offline System Error Message

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2016, 02:49:25 pm »
Qantas 32 had lots of error messages :P

It was crazy!
I highly recommend the book:
http://amzn.to/2a9vfSm

You didnt get my joke in relation to my name lol.
 

Online edavid

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2016, 03:11:57 pm »
Can someone please explain to me the requirement for the Hyperloop (apart from being cool), with all it's inherent engineering problems, over a MegLev train?

It's to save money.  The idea is that air suspension is cheaper than MagLev.

I don't see why you couldn't put a MagLev in a low pressure tube though.

The california high speed rail from los angeles to san francisco will cost $68billion to construct. That is for a conventional train.
How on earth is Hyperloop going to build the whole thing for 1/10th the price of a conventional rail??

The idea was that they would save a huge amount of money by not having to purchase dedicated right of way.  A lot of people have objected to that since the initial proposal.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 02:27:42 am by edavid »
 

Offline Maxlor

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2016, 07:24:48 pm »
Unconvincing bust. He simplifies things quite a bit, takes several cheap shots, and doesn't allow for any obvious or less obvious solutions to the fatal problems he mentions.

Perhaps you like to explain those solutions in detail then?

I'm not saying the Hyperloop can work, and I certainly don't have the skills do design the whole system, but I also don't make absolute claims, like Thunderf00t does. If you make claims, back them up with solid evidence. I don't know why you're calling me out here, since this is exactly what you did in your various busting videos: let them have every detail that you can't 100% show isn't possible, and still show it doesn't work. Or is it just that because Thunderf00t can make a fancy video that he's more right? Hyperloop's videos are even fancier, you know...

But hey, if you like I can go into the details.

Expansion of tubes, station shifting by hundreds of meters: as mentioned earlier in this thread, wouldn't rail tracks have the same problem? You don't see those shifting around all the time. Steel on this scale has quite a bit of elasticity to it, it can be compressed. Or if that's not an option, you can use sliding seals. Shock absorbers use those, and they hold up to a lot more than just 100kPa. I'm sure there are other solutions as well.

Lot's of vacuum seals, and implication that it's impossible to get them all to seal properly: probably true, but Hyperloop claim the distributed nature of the vacuum pumps will handle leaks, which even they acknowlege are unavoidable. So is it possible to make the seals reliable enough? I don't know, Thunderf00t certainly doesn't show any evidence that it isn't.

The video segments showing those interior designers: what are they doing in the video, they're supposed to show that Hyperloop consists of idea people with little background in engineering? I'm pretty sure they have engineers too. This is a cheap shot at ridiculing Hyperloop, an ad hominem attack (well, ad company), when otherwise the video is meant to show that the engineering is impossible. It seems out of place.

Massive buckling problems due to temperature differentials: Couldn't you just make the pipes strong enough to handle it? Maybe that'd make it economically unviable, but that's not what Thunderf00t says - he says it's technically impossible. But it's clearly not, otherwise gas pipelines would buckle all the time. There's really very little in the way of technical limits as to how strong you can make something, as evidenced by submarines (military ones handle thousands of kPa, research ones tens of thousands even) or, say, dams and tunnels. And if the steel pipe on it's own really is too weak, welding in some rings as shown in th picture above should do it? Or does that make it too expensive already? I don't know, but I do know that there isn't a technical problem here.

A catastrophic accident of a single car causing destruction of every other car in the system: Yeah, no. First, even if you open the pipe to its full diameter and let air rush in, that shockwave is going to die down, question is, how quickly. Now I'm not sure how to calculate this situation (but I have a COMSOL simulation running over night) but we could get a very rough idea by using the formula for calculating pressure drop from a compressor in a pneumatic system with constant flow. The numbers say, after about 66km there's about a 100kPa drop, after 37km (average car distance according to Hyperloop) there's a roughly 60kPa drop. Now clearly, that isn't the definitive answer since the actual situation isn't static, but it's enough to make me think that friction plays a role here and the pressure wave is not going to travel through the whole system at full strength, destroying everything, as Thunderf00t claims.

Second, why would the whole system have to be one open, connected tube? You could add a pressure lock every 1km that opens for cars and closes behind them, which would thus contain a catastrophe.

The engine: actually, that turbine is not meant for propulsion. Hyperloop say that the cars are powered by external linear actuators, the turbine is there to avoid the cars pushing a column of air in front of them, which even at 0.1kPa, will add up. So it doesn't have to produce any noticeable thrust. Of course, it might still be possible that even just moving the amount of air involved is impossible, I don't know. The parts of the video are based on a misunderstanding and aren't really helpful.
 
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Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: The Hyperloop: BUSTED
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2016, 10:15:07 pm »
More thoughts -- underlying reasons.

Space gun (EM launch)?

It's a vacuum barrel, long enough to reach high into the atmosphere (if suitably supported).  It's not advertised for escape velocity (perhaps that would be a little too ambitious of an introduction?), but could presumably be used as such, given enough power.

That's a *much* better connection to SpaceX, and gives them reason to invest.  (Still, not excluding the executive-circle-jerk possibility.  Which itself should have a bit more of an underlying reason.  Which this maybe helps with, maybe not.)

Why not promote it as such?  Well, travel is a more practical application.  People balk at "useless" pie-in-the-sky space research.  There's nothing up there.  (Yet.)

Tim
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