Billionaire Elon Musk is a visionary and a futurist, and also one of our biggest idols.  His SpaceX company is helping get private spaceflight off the ground (pun intended), while his Tesla company has developed some of the coolest electric vehicles to date.  On August 12, Musk revealed his latest dream called the Hyperloop, a super-fast travel concept that shoots passenger pods through tubes at about 760 mph (1,220 km/h) using energy derived from the sun.  He envisions the Hyperloop to use electric motors to accelerate 6.5 foot wide pods to nearly supersonic speeds.  The pods travels through long tubes, mounted on pylons to keep construction costs low, while reducing earthquake risks.  Musk believes that a Hyperloop system could link cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco – with a travel time of just 30 minutes between them.  He estimates that such a system could be built for about $6 billion, which is a small fraction of the proposed $70 billion high-speed rail system between the two cities.  While Musk says that he doesn’t have the time to work on the project himself, he hopes that other innovators and entrepreneurs will run with his idea – he’s even willing to build a demonstration model to help get the project started.  What a guy!  More over at www.space.com

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