Hyperloop: the impossible transport

By Domenico Di Maio
Artwork by Diego Soprana

Week 02

Occasionally I stop and think about which entrepreneur, after the death of Steve Jobs, has managed to retrace the same footsteps of the founder of the world’s most famous apple.
At the moment I believe Elon Musk is one of the most enlightened entrepreneurs of our time, thanks to his way of wanting to overcome the limits of the possible at all costs.
Retracing the prominent life achievements of Elon Musk is no easy task, as many, perhaps too many, have already been achieved by the South African-born entrepreneur. Let’s talk about a man who came to the profession rather miraculously at the age of 12 by selling the code for a video game he created called Blastar to a prominent magazine called PC and Office Technology. He then went on to co-found X.com, the society that lay foundations for the creation of services like Paypal, Tesla, Space X, SolarCity and the conception of the Hyperloop.
A book of 200 pages is not enough to fully explore the innovative vision of Musk. For the occasion however it is enough to mention one project that will revolutionize the world of transport.
The Hyperloop, by appearance alone, seems to come out of a cyberpunk film, one of those set in a futuristic metropolis that allows you to move at high speed in mile-long glass pipes built to accommodate capsules for passengers.
But how does the Hyperloop work exactly?

In short, the whole transport system is based on the use of vacuum tubes powered by photovoltaic panels, which will propel the capsules of the passengers: a monorail carriage consists of two parts of electromagnetic motors in an environment almost devoid of air; This, of course, to eliminate the problem of resistance and friction caused by the number one enemy of high-speed transport. We say “almost”, because a small compressed air buffer, frontally placed, is “absorbed” by the front fan and distributed to the sides of the capsule through the escape routes allowing for levitation and reducing friction.
Result: a means of self-sufficient and safe traveling at the speed of 1200 kilometres per hour. It can cover the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 30 minutes.
Not bad eh?
Hyperloop is a project designed by Elon Musk but is open source, meaning engineers and designers from around the globe can work voluntarily on the project and contribute their ideas without a salary, but rather by taking stock options. Apparently, the work that will revolutionize the way we travel has just begun.