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The SpaceX has launched the Dragon capsule designed to carry people from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission is uncrewed for this flight, but if it goes well, NASA is likely to approve the system for regular astronaut use from later this year.

The company’s founder Elon Musk said this could be the first step towards opening space travel to commercial customers.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule lifted off from Kennedy’s historic Pad 39A at the precise planned time of 02:49 EST.

The 11-minute ascent put the Dragon on a path to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) on March 3.

Because this is just a demonstration, there are no astronauts aboard – but there is a “test dummy”.

Dressed in a spacesuit and sitting next to a window, this anthropomorphic simulator is fitted with sensors around the head, neck, and spine.

It will gather data on the type of forces that humans will experience when they get to ride in the spacecraft.

SpaceX has nicknamed the dummy “Ripley” – after the Sigourney Weaver character in the Alien movies.

Dragon CRS-10: SpaceX Successfully Launches New Mission Carrying Cargo Ship for ISS

For the SpaceX, this mission is a key milestone in its short history. Elon Musk, a technology entrepreneur and engineer, set up the organization with the specific intention of taking people into space.

Elon Musk told reporters immediately after the launch: “It’s been 17 years to get to this point, from 2002 to now. To be frank, I’m a little emotionally exhausted because it was super stressful.

“Our focus has been on serving NASA’s needs but once Dragon is in regular operation, I think we will seek commercial customers of which the NASA administrator, and NASA in general, has been very supportive.”

He said those customers could include private citizens going to the ISS, just as they have done on Soyuz vehicles in the past.

Separately, Elon Musk is developing a much bigger system – which he calls the Starship and Super Heavy rocket – to transport people to the Moon and Mars.

The Dragon crew capsule is a variant on the ISS cargo freighter flown by SpaceX.

Upgrades include life-support systems, obviously; and more powerful thrusters to push the vessel to safety if something goes wrong with a rocket during an ascent to orbit.

It also has four parachutes instead of the freighter’s three to control the return to Earth.

Dragon crew capsules will splashdown in the Atlantic not far from Kennedy.

NASA is essentially now contracting out crew transport to SpaceX.

Whereas in the past, NASA engineers would have top-down control of all aspects of vehicle design and the agency would own and operate the hardware – the relationship with industry has been put on a completely new footing.

Today, NASA sets broad requirements and industry is given plenty of latitude in how it meets those demands.

After being taken to orbit, the Dragon makes its own way to the station using onboard thrusters.

One of the big differences between this mission and standard cargo flights is the mode of approach and attachment to the ISS. Freighters come up under the orbiting lab and are grappled by a robotic arm and pulled into a berthing position.

ISS astronauts will be watching closely to see that the capsule behaves as it should.

The Dragon is expected to stay at the station until March 8. The current plan has it undocking, firing its thrusters to come out of orbit, and splashing down at roughly 13:45 GMT.

Tesla’s mega-battery has begun dispensing power into an electricity grid in South Australia.

The world’s largest lithium ion battery was officially activated on December 1.

The 100-megawatt battery had in fact provided some power since November 30 due to demand caused by local hot weather.

South Australia has been crippled by electricity problems in recent times.

Tesla founder Elon Musk famously vowed to build the battery within 100 days – a promise that was fulfilled.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said on December 1: “This is history in the making.”

Image source Flickr

Elon Musk and Tesla to Build World’s Biggest Lithium Ion Battery in South Australia

The battery would prevent a repeat of a notorious incident last year where the entire South Australia lost power, Jay Weatherill said.

Elon Musk has described it as three times more powerful than the world’s next biggest battery.

The idea began when Elon Musk was asked on Twitter if he was serious about helping to resolve South Australia’s electricity woes.

Tesla boss said he was – adding that if the battery wasn’t built within 100 days, South Australia would receive it for free.

The countdown began on September 30 after a plan was approved by the state government and regulators. Tesla finished the battery in about 60 days.

Located near Jamestown, about 125 miles north of Adelaide, the battery is connected to a wind farm run by French energy company Neoen.

When fully charged, the battery can power up to 30,000 homes for an hour. However, it will mostly be used to support and stabilize existing electricity supplies.

The mega-battery is comprised of a grid system that runs on the same technology that powers Tesla’s cars.

In a statement, Tesla said the completion of the battery “shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible”.

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Elon Musk’s company, Tesla,  expects to raise nearly $1.8 billion by selling “junk” bonds to private investors – even more than the electric automaker aimed for when it announced the offering this month.

Tesla said the money will keep its balance sheet steady as it ramps up manufacturing of its newest car.

The company aims to make 5,000 of its mass market Model 3 a week by the end of this year.

It has estimated it is already spending about $100 million a week to hit that target.

On August 4, Tesla said was looking to raise $1.5 billion by selling bonds, but after one week it said it now expected to raise $1.77 billion from the sale.

The fundraising is limited to major institutions and not private investor.

Image source Twitter

Elon Musk: Tesla Model 3 Pre-Orders Total 276,000

Junk bonds are ones that pay a higher yield than normal bonds (5.3% in Tesla’s case), but also carry a higher risk of not being paid back. The bonds are set to be repaid in 2025.

Analysts said Tesla‘s ability to raise more than $1.5 billion indicated an appetite for risk among investors, as low interest rates have limited returns in many other types of investments. High stock market valuations have also made it harder to make a profit.

“Without the proceeds from the note offering, Tesla’s liquidity position would be stressed,” analysts at Moody’s said, warning of risks to potential investors.

Tesla had about $3 billion in cash at the end of June, but it spent more than $2 billion in the most recent quarter.

The company has frequently turned to investors to overcome persistent operating losses.

Tesla plans to eventually make more than 500,000 of the new Model 3 cars a year at its Fremont factory – or about 10,000 per week.

Moody’s said the target was ambitious given the relatively small size of the US electric car market.

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Elon Musk has shared the first images of Tesla’s Model 3 after it came off the assembly line.

The electric car company’s co-founder and chief executive tweeted a picture captioned “First Production Model 3” on July 8.

Elon Musk followed it up with another Model 3 photo, this time in color, outside the Tesla factory site in California.

Image source Twitter

The Model 3 is Tesla’s first mass-market car and the first 30 owners will get in the driver’s seat on July 28.

Model 3: Tesla Unveils Its Lowest-Cost Vehicle to Date

The four-door Model 3 will then be available to the public, with a base price of $35,000, almost half that of the Tesla’s next-cheapest model.

Tesla’s share price more than doubled between December and late June as investors backed Elon Musk’s strategy to transform the low-volume luxury electric car maker into a producer for the crowded mass-market, but has since fallen back.

Elon Musk: Tesla Model 3 Pre-Orders Total 276,000

Registrations for new Tesla cars in California, its largest market, were down 24% in April compared with April 2016, according to IHS Markit data. Tesla responded by calling the figure “cherry-picked” data.

Image source Twitter

Tesla reported that first-half 2017 global deliveries for all its models rose to 47,100. That was at the lower end of its predicted sales range of 47,000 to 50,000.

In its last full financial year results, Tesla made a loss of $889 million.

Elon Musk’s tweeted images follow news last week that Volvo would become the first traditional vehicle manufacturer to phase out the petrol and diesel powered combustion engine, in a move toward hybrid and electric car production.

The state of South Australia will install the world’s biggest lithium ion battery in a “historic” deal with electric car company Tesla and energy company Neoen.

According to Premier Jay Weatherill, the battery will protect South Australia from the kind of energy crisis which famously blacked out the state.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed a much-publicized promise to build the battery within 100 days, or do it for free.

The 100-megawatt (129 megawatt-hour) battery should be ready this year.

Tesla to Unveil Electric Articulated Truck

Elon Musk said in Adelaide on July 7: “There is certainly some risk, because this will be largest battery installation in the world by a significant margin.”

He also said that “the next biggest battery in the world is 30 megawatts”.

Image source Flickr

According to South Australia’s government, the Tesla-built battery, paired with a Neoen wind farm, will operate around the clock and be capable of providing additional power during emergencies.

“It will completely transform the way in which renewable energy is stored, and also stabilize the South Australian network as well as putting downward pressure on prices,” Premier Jay Weatherill said.

Tesla Launches New Battery Pack for Model S and X Cars

Elon Musk’s 100-day pledge will begin once an electricity grid interconnection agreement has been signed.

Tesla has been expanding its battery business alongside its car production.

South Australia has suffered from blackouts since September 2016, leading to a political spat over energy policy.

The row culminated in a confrontation between Jay Weatherill and a federal government minister at a press conference in March.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that his company will unveil an electric articulated truck in September 2017.

Additionally, the Tesla CEO said an electric pick-up truck would be shown off in around 18-24 months.

In 2016, Elon Musk expressed the company’s desire to branch out beyond cars.

However, analysts are concerned Tesla will not meet demand for its current projects.

Image source Flickr

The Model 3, a more mid-market car compared to what Tesla currently offers, has 400,000 pre-orders – vastly more than the company can manufacture in a year. The Model 3 is due to go into production later this year.

However, despite this hurdle, investors seem confident that Elon Musk will meet his ambitious promises – Tesla’s surging stock price saw it briefly become the most valuable car maker in the US on April 10.

Speaking about the truck, Elon Musk said his team had done an “amazing job” and the vehicle would be “seriously next level”.

In a string of tweets sent out on April 13, Elon Musk also said that the next version of its roadster sports car will be a convertible.

Elon Musk has launched Neuralink, a start-up which aims to develop technology that connects our brains to computers.

A report from the Wall Street Journal, later confirmed in a tweet by Elon Musk, said Neuralink was in its very early stages and registered as a “medical research” company.

Neuralink will develop so-called “neural lace” technology which would implant tiny electrodes into the brain.

The technique could be used to improve memory or give humans added artificial intelligence.

Image source Flickr

According to the Journal, leading academics in the field have been signed up to work at the company which is being funded privately by Tesla chief executive.

Specialists in the field envision a time when humans may be able to upload and download thoughts.

In a tweet on March 28, Elon Musk confirmed the existence of Neuralink and said more details about the company would be made public next week via WaitButWhy – a site known for illustrating its lengthy post with often crude but charming stick figure drawings.

Elon Musk is considered one of Silicon Valley’s most visionary figures – and surely now its busiest.

As well as heading electric carmaker Tesla, Elon Musk is involved with running space exploration company Space X, a project to reinvent transport called Hyperloop and, most recently, a company investigating the feasibility of boring tunnels underneath Los Angeles – and a new project to power Australia.

Tweeting about Neuralink, Elon Musk conceded it would be “difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to”.

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SpaceX has announced that two private citizens have paid to be sent around the Moon.

The company’s CEO Elon Musk said the mission is planned for late 2018 and the tourists “have already paid a significant deposit”.

The two unnamed space tourists will fly aboard a spaceship which is set for its first unmanned test flight later this year.

Elon Musk said the co-operation of NASA had made the plan possible.

He said the two passengers “will travel faster and further into the solar system than any before them”.

Elon Musk declined to reveal their identities, only saying that they knew each other and that “it’s nobody from Hollywood”.

Image source Wikimedia

He added: “Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.

“We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year.”

The first mission would be unmanned, and the next one – with crew – was expected in Q2 of 2018, he said.

Elon Musk also said the first passengers “are entering this with their eyes open, knowing that there is some risk here”.

“They’re certainly not naive, and we’ll do everything we can to minimize that risk, but it’s not zero.”

The tourists would make a loop around the Moon, skimming the lunar surface and then going well beyond, the entrepreneur said.

The mission will not involve a lunar landing.

If NASA decided it wanted to be first to take part in a lunar flyby mission, then the agency would have priority, Elon Musk said.

The US has not sent astronauts to the Moon since the early 1970s.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic venture proposes to send tourists on short sub-orbital flights in its vehicle SpaceShipTwo; the cost of a seat is listed as $250,000.

However, Virgin Galactic’s space vehicle was destroyed in a crash in 2014 and it remains unclear when the first flights with paying customers will begin.

SpaceX has successfully launched the Dragon CRS-10 (2) mission carrying a cargo ship for the International Space Station (ISS) following the postponement of take-off on February 18 because of technical problems.

Witnesses said the Dragon rocket was only briefly visible before making its way into the clouds.

The launch was made from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The rocket booster successfully landed on the ground nine minutes after taking off.

Image source Flickr

The touchdown is part of SpaceX’s strategy of returning rockets to earth so they can be reused rather than jettisoning them in the ocean after a single launch.

Moments after the rocket landed, the SpaceX Dragon supply ship successfully reached orbit, prompting cheers inside the SpaceX Mission Control room.

The Dragon is now making its way to the ISS, and is expected to arrive on February 22.

On January 14, SpaceX resumed flights by launching a Falcon 9 vehicle from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast.

It was the first mission by the private rocket company since one of its vehicles exploded on the launch pad in September.

The company founder, Elon Musk, wants SpaceX to be at the forefront of the race involving several companies to deploy satellite-based internet services over the next few years.

SpaceX also has a long queue of customers all waiting for a ride to orbit – including America’s civil space agency (NASA), the US military and multiple outfits in the commercial sector.

A Falcon-9 rocket operated by SpaceX has exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral where it was being test-fired ahead of a launch.

In a statement, SpaceX blamed the blast on “an anomaly” and said no-one had been injured.

The company said the rocket’s payload, a satellite due to be launched on September 3, was also destroyed.

The force of the blast shook buildings several miles away and sent a plume of smoke high above the complex.

SpaceX is seeking to create a new era of reusable rockets and affordable private space travel and has used its Falcon-9 rocket to take supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

Photo Fox News

Photo Fox News

In December 2015, SpaceX successfully landed a Falcon-9 back on Earth after a mission – a first in rocketry.

It went on to recover five more boosters, with most of them touching down on an ocean platform.

The idea is to re-fly these rockets, and the first such “second hand” vehicle is scheduled to launch in October.

SpaceX is run out of Hawthorne near Los Angeles by Elon Musk, who made his fortune with internet companies.

As well as being the rocket company’s CEO, Elon Musk also heads up the Tesla electric car company.

According to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a “significant” explosion happened just after 09:00 (14:00 GMT) at Launch Complex 40, which is leased by SpaceX.

Spokesman Bryan Purtell said: “Our emergency management teams are responding right now.”

The Falcon-9 rocket was carrying the Israeli-built Amos-6 communications satellite.

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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has announced the electric car maker is launching a new battery pack for the performance versions of its Model S and X cars that will extend the range and mean faster acceleration.

Elon Musk hailed the upgraded charger as a “profound milestone”.

The battery cell chemistry is the same, but the reconfigured product stored more energy in the same space, he said.

Photo Tesla

Photo Tesla

Tesla, which this month posted a steeper-than-expected loss, is adding a new sedan car to its sports line-up.

Elon Musk claimed that the new 100-kilowatt hour battery pack means high-end versions of the Model S sedan, called the P100D, will be the world’s fastest accelerating car in production.

The P100D will do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. Elon Musk said there were faster cars on the market, but these were limited-run vehicles, while the Tesla is aimed at the mass market, he said.

“These are very profound milestones and I think will help convince people around the world that electric is the future,” Elon Musk said on a conference call with journalists.

The new battery extends the range of performance versions of the new Model S well beyond 300 miles, from about 290 miles, Tesla said.

Elon Musk said that in cool weather, a driver could travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles – a nearly 400 mile drive – without recharging.

In May 2016, Tesla said it was stepping up production plans for its upcoming Model 3 mass-market sedan and would build a total of 500,000 all-electric vehicles in 2018, two years ahead of schedule.

The Model S and X vehicles with the upgraded batteries will help fund the more affordable Model 3 still in development, Elon Musk said. The performance versions of the S and X without the new battery currently start at $108,000 and $115,500, respectively.

However, Tesla Motors also warned that investment would ramp up as well.

The company has been under investigation from US safety regulators following a fatal crash in Florida earlier this year involving its drive-assistance feature known as Autopilot.

Elon Musk said a software update of the feature is nearing completion, adding that it will result in “material improvements in the autonomy of the car”.

SpaceX’s Elon Musk has announced he is planning to send his Dragon spacecraft to Mars by 2018.

The billionaire has long targeted a trip to Mars and has previously said he can get humans to the red planet by 2026.

SpaceX is planning “Red Dragon” missions to Mars to test technology for bigger missions.

In a tweet, Elon Musk said that its Dragon 2 spacecraft is “designed to be able to land anywhere in the solar system”.

Photo PANews

Photo PANews

However, Elon Musk “wouldn’t recommend transporting astronauts beyond Earth-moon region” as the internal area of the spacecraft is only the size of a large car.

“Wouldn’t be fun for longer journeys,” he said in a tweet.

SpaceX has been developing rockets and has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the International Space Station (ISS).

On April 27, the company won an $83 million contract from the US Air Force to launch a satellite for GPS navigation services.

It is a significant win for SpaceX as, for the last decade, Lockheed Martin and Boeing have been supplying space launches for the military.

In December 2015, SpaceX had another breakthrough, landing its Falcon-9 unmanned rocket upright.

That was an important development in its plan to cut the cost of space launches by re-using rockets.

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Pre-orders of Tesla’s much-anticipated Model 3 electric car currently total 276,000, CEO Elon Musk has announced.

Tesla unveiled the five-seater car – its lowest-cost vehicle to date – on March 31.

Elon Musk tweeted the total reflected the orders received by the end of April 2.

Pre-orders of the Model 3 will not necessarily all translate into actual sales when the car is released, with first deliveries in late 2017.Tesla Model 3 pre orders

Potential car owners need to put down $1,000 deposits to reserve their vehicles.

Such has been the interest that Elon Musk tweeted the company was “definitely going to need to rethink production planning”.

Elon Musk has said his goal is to produce about 500,000 vehicles a year once production is at full capacity.

The basic model will start at $35,000 and have a range of at least 215 miles per charge.

Tesla delivered 50,580 vehicles in 2015. Most of those were its Model S saloon, which overtook Nissan’s Leaf to become the world’s best selling pure-electric vehicle.

However, Tesla still posted a net loss of $889 million for 2015, partly because it spent $718 million on research and development over the period.

It left Tesla with cash reserves of $1.2 billion, down from $1.9 billion a year earlier.

Tesla is facing competition from other electric cars with a similar price and range that will become available first, including General Motors’ Chevy Bolt and BYD’s Qin EV300.

Tesla has unveiled its lowest-cost vehicle to date, Model 3 electric car.

The price and range of the five-seater should make Model 3 appealing to new types of customers and could boost interest in other electric cars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his goal was to produce about 500,000 vehicles a year once production is at full speed.

Photo Tesla

Photo Tesla

The company needs the new car to prove popular if it is to stay in business.

The first deliveries of Model 3 are scheduled to start in late 2017, and it can be ordered in advance in dozens of countries.

The basic model will start at $35,000 and have a range of at least 215 miles per charge.

In 2015, Tesla delivered 50,580 vehicles. Most of those were its Model S saloon, which overtook Nissan’s Leaf to become the world’s best selling pure-electric vehicle.

However, Tesla still posted a net loss of $889 million for 2015, partly because it spent $718 million on research and development over the period.

It left Tesla with cash reserves of $1.2 billion, down from $1.9 billion a year earlier.

SpaceX has successfully landed an unmanned Falcon-9 rocket upright, after sending 11 satellites into orbit.

The Falcon-9 craft touched down on December 21, about 10km from its launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

It is not the first spacecraft to land a booster vertically; that feat was claimed by the much smaller New Shepard rocket in Texas last month.

Nonetheless the Falcon-9 flight, which also went twice as high as New Shepard, is a milestone towards reusing rockets.

SpaceX aims to slash the cost of private space operations with such reusable components – but the company has not launched a rocket since one exploded in June.

On that occasion an unmanned Falcon-9 broke apart in flames minutes after lifting off from Cape Canaveral, with debris tumbling out of the sky into the Atlantic Ocean.

The rocket, which had 18 straight successes prior to the fateful flight, was in the process of sending a cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS).

SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to send supplies to the ISS.SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

On Monday night, local time, the upgraded 23-storey-tall rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with the main stage returning about 10 minutes later to a landing site about 6 miles south of the launch pad.

Near the peak of its flight, at an altitude of some 125 miles, it propelled the rocket’s first stage – laden with 11 communications satellites – into space.

The flawless launch on December 21 is a major success for privately-owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, the California-based company set up and run by high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Elon Musk has said the ability to return its rockets to Earth so they can be reused and re-flown would hugely reduce his company’s operational costs in the growing but highly competitive private space launch industry.

SpaceX employees broke out in celebration as they watched a live stream of the 156ft-tall white booster slowly descend to earth in the form of a glowing orange ball.

“Welcome back, baby!” Elon Musk said in a celebratory tweet.

SpaceX commentators described the launch and return – the first time an orbital rocket successfully achieved a controlled landing on Earth – as “incredibly exciting”.

“This was a first for us at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and I can’t even begin to describe the joy the team feels right now having been a part of this historic first-stage rocket landing,” the top officer at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Brig Gen Wayne Monteith, said in a statement.

SpaceX is aiming to revolutionize the rocket industry, which up until now has lost millions of dollars in discarded machinery and valuable rocket parts after each launch.

Several earlier attempts to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on an ocean platform have failed.

After weeks of speculations, Tesla has unveiled Autopilot system.

While not fully self-driving, the software means the Model S and new Model X can “automatically steer down the highway, change lanes, and adjust speed in response to traffic”.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Autopilot mode was designed to increase driver confidence on the road.

However, Elon Musk said users adopting the software – available in North America from October 15 – should exercise caution while using it.Tesla Autopilot

“It should not hit pedestrians, hopefully,” he told the media.

“It should handle them well.”

He added that if the car is involved in a collision, the driver is still liable.

“The driver cannot abdicate responsibility. That will come at some point in the future.”

Other regions of the world would be updated in the next couple of weeks pending regulatory approval.

The software uses a combination of cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors and mapping data to determine its position and navigate.

When the car has arrived at its destination, it is able to scan for an available space and park itself.

Unlike Google, which is aiming for a fully-autonomous vehicle, Tesla’s approach is to gradually introduce features which take away the need for drivers to carry out certain functions.

Elon Musk said: “Currently there are limitations to the software which would improve over time.

“If there’s heavy snow it’s going to be harder for the system to work, so we’d advise caution.

“Essentially it’s like a person – how well can a person figure out what route they should take. Over time it will be better than a person.

“Long term it will be way better than a person. It never gets tired, it’s never had anything to drink, it’s never arguing with someone in the car. It’s not distracted.”

Other carmakers such as BMW and Volvo are also developing, and implementing, autonomous features to their cars.

Google’s entirely self-driving car has clocked up well over one million miles on public roads, mostly in California.

The first full-scale Hyperloop will be built in central California in 2016.

Hyperloop is a new transportation method imagined up by entrepreneur Elon Musk.

The 5-mile test track will be built halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The system uses depressurized tubes, as well as magnets and fans, to propel up to 28 people at a time at high speeds.

This model will be slower and shorter than the full-sized near-supersonic system envisioned by Elon Musk.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced the agreement with the developers of Quay Valley, California, a planned community that emphasizes sustainability.Hyperloop to be built in California

The system will be built alongside the Interstate 5 freeway in central California, and the developers claim that it will be the first passenger-ready Hyperloop to be built in an urban area.

Elon Musk, who founded companies like Paypal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors, first announced the idea of a Hyperloop in a 57-page white paper in August 2013.

In his original envisioning, Elon Musk imagined the system transporting people between Los Angeles and San Francisco- a distance of about 400 miles – in 30 minutes.

Shortly after the announcement Elon Musk handed the concept over to the public for anyone to develop, saying that he was too busy with other projects.

Since then hundreds of engineers have contributed ideas to the project during their spare time.

Elon Musk has described the design as a cross between Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.

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Paypal founder Elon Musk has revealed plans for a radical new “hyperloop” transport system that could “shoot” passengers 380 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.

Travellers enter aluminium pods mounted by skis either to their feet or to their cars.

The pods, mounted above the ground on columns 50 to 100 yards apart, travel through steel tubes, reaching speeds of up to 800 mph and travelling on a cushion of air.

Elon Musk, who is also behind electric car firm Tesla and space company SpaceX, says the system could be built for less than a high speed rail link.

He told Bloomberg Business Week the system would be “like getting a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland”.

“It would have less lateral acceleration – which is what tends to make people feel motion sick – than a subway ride, as the pod banks against the tube like an airplane,” he said.

“It would feel supersmooth.”

“The Hyperloop (or something similar) is, in my opinion, the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart,” Elon Musk claimed.

Elon Musk boasted on Twitter he has been working on the plan all night after promising to release the details today, creating massive speculation online over its technology.

“Pulled all nighter working on Hyperloop (as did others),” he tweeted.

“Hopefully not too many mistakes.”

Elon Musk said he started thinking about the idea when plans for a 130 mph (210 km/h) high-speed train connection between LA and San Francisco were revealed, but now he has detailed his own version on Tesla’s site.

“I originally started thinking about [Hyperloop] when I read about California’s high-speed rail project which was somewhat disappointing,” he told a Google Hangout with Richard Branson last week.

“It’s actually worse than taking the plane. I get a little sad when things are not getting better in the future.

“Another example would be like the Concorde being retired and the fact there is no supersonic passenger transport. I think that is sad. You want the future to be better than the past, or at least I do.”

Elon Musk made his fortune with the internet payment system PayPal before switching his skills into developing the new Falcon rocket system for NASA and the Tesla electric car.

Elon Musk unveils plans for the Hyperloop that will shoot passengers from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes

Elon Musk unveils plans for the Hyperloop that will shoot passengers from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes

HE claims Hyperloop would be a practical solution for city pairs separated by 1,000 miles (1,600 km) or less. Beyond this distance, it would be better to take a plane, he explained.

But for the shorter distance, Elon Musk’s new concept would beat the plane, he argues, because it would not waste time ascending and descending.

“You want a transport system that is roughly twice as fast as the next best alternative, that costs less, that is safer, that is not subject to weather and is more convenient,” Elon Musk said.

“If there were such a thing, I think most people would take it. In fact, it would increase the travel between the city pairs because of the increased convenience.”

Experts say Elon Musk’s track record could help the plan become a reality.

“Hyperloop is quite an old science fiction idea but Elon Musk is the sort of man who could make it work,” said physicist Martin Archer from Imperial College London.

“He’s the guy who made electric cars go fast with Tesla, which many people didn’t think would be possible; and he’s the head of SpaceX which is the only commercial rocket builder that has managed to hook up with the International Space Station.”

Elon Musk says he will leave it to others to build the system initially.

“I have to focus on core Tesla business and SpaceX business, and that’s more than enough,” he told investors of Tesla, his electric car firm.

“If nothing happens for a few years, with that I mean maybe it could make sense to make the halfway path with Tesla involvement,” Elon Musk said.

“Hyperloop consists of a low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube,” Elon Musk said in an exhaustive paper detailing the system posted online.

“The capsules are supported on a cushion of air.”

Each of the capsules is pressurized, and Elon Musk says they have an emergency braking system as well as a reserve air supply in the event of an emergency.

The entrepreneur admits the scheme came from a disdain for current systems.

“When the California <<high speed>> rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too.

“How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world?”

Elon Musk claims the scheme can power itself through solar energy.

“By placing solar panels on top of the tube, the Hyperloop can generate far in excess of the energy needed to operate.

“This takes into account storing enough energy in battery packs to operate at night and for periods of extended cloudy weather,” he claims.

Elon Musk estimates the overall cost of the tube, pillars, vacuum pumps and stations will be $4.06 billion for the passenger version of Hyperloop, and $5.31 billion for the larger version capable of sending cargo and even cars.

Elon Musk says a route from LA to San Francisco could be running within seven years.

“It could happen at least 4-5 years after a working prototype is developed, so 7-10 years away,” he told reporters.

“That’s comparable timing to the rail project.”

Elon Musk also said he may develop a prototype system himself, despite previously claiming he would leave it to others.

“I’ve sort of come around a little bit on my thinking here,” he said.

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