A scientist demonstrated Tuesday on YouTube how billionaire Elon Musk’s proposed Hyperloop could kill its passengers if even the tiniest problem occurred.
Musk’s Hyperloop project “might be better described as all the problems of space travel while traveling in a gun barrel at the speed of sound,” Dr. Phil Mason, a chemist who makes science educational videos, says on YouTube. “If you had a tube failure on a two-meter diameter tube, as with the Hyperloop, over a significant distance. It would quite literally be like being shot down a gun barrel with no way of stopping.”
The scientist constructed a mini-Hyperloop, 100 times smaller than the real life proposal, and reduced the air pressure within the tube to comparable levels. Then, the scientist simulated a small crack in the tube that let air in. The resulting pressure change wrecked the tube and accelerated the mini Hyperloop to levels which could kill its passengers.
Musk’s other critics have also cast doubt on the alleged speed and low cost of the Hyperloop, which are the most important elements of Musk’s plan. Slowing the Hyperloop down enough to ensure that it was safe could mean that it wouldn’t be a faster and cheaper alternative to cars and trains.
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