Elon Musk Proposes 'Tiny, Kid-Size Submarine' to Rescue Soccer Team Trapped in Cave
Billionaire Elon Musk proposed a high-tech rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand, using a âtiny, kid-size submarineâ made from part of one of his space companyâs orbital rockets.
The chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. made the suggestion on Saturday in a Twitter message, saying heâd received âgreat feedback from Thailandâ as members of his engineering team descend on the scene that has galvanized the attention of people in Thailand and around the world.
âConstruction complete in about 8 hours, then 17 hour flight to Thailand,â he said in one of a series of Twitter messages. That timeline would get the mini-sub to Thailand early Monday local time.
The boys and their coach have been trapped in the cave system in the countryâs north for about two weeks, and heavy rainfall looms in the days ahead. Rescuers are moving feverishly to lower water levels with pumps and prepare the boys, most of whom canât swim, for a perilous, hours-long extraction that would include diving through pitch-black water with scuba gear.
Musk, who studied physics, has floated a number of ideas on Twitter on how to bring the stranded team to safety.
On Saturday, he suggested a rescue employing âa tiny, kid-size submarine using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of Falcon rocket as hull. Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps. Extremely robust.â
There was no immediate comment about the plan from Thai officials.
âContinue to be amazed by the bravery, resilience & tenacity of kids & diving team in Thailand,â Musk said in another tweet. âHuman character at its best.â
Musk previously proposed using a double-layer Kevlar pressure pod or a long inflatable air sock to penetrate the narrow passageways and provide a rescue conduit. The tubes and pods are being built in the U.S., a spokesman said. Some equipment is traveling wit h his engineering the team and some will be express shipped.
âNo need for SCUBA mouthpiece or regulator,â Musk wrote about his suggested pods. âTraining unnecessary & less susceptible to panic attack.â Musk said they were being tested Friday afternoon in a pool with a subject who had never been scuba diving.
Any air sock or tube would have to be tough enough to withstand high water pressure â" potentially two tons of force at a depth of 15 feetâ" and sharp rocks, said Douglas Hart, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Earlier Saturday, Musk tweeted thereâs âsome good feedback from cave experts in Thailandâ and that heâs âiterating with th em on an escape pod design that might be safe enough to try.â
âAlso building an inflatable tube with airlocks,â he wrote. âLess likely to work, given tricky contours, but great if it does.â
A Thai Navy SEAL helping with the rescue operation died Friday after running out of oxygen, underlining the dangers of navigating the flooded cave system even for those with experience. Cave diving is widely regarded as treacherous and the stranded group is thought to have little swimming ability, let alone diving know-how.
Officials have also contemplated supplying the boys and their coach with food, water and oxygen to stay in the cave potentially for months until the monsoon ends and waters recede. But the expe cted heavy rains raise the risk of increased flooding and restricted access.
A spokesman for Musk has previously said that the billionaireâs companies may assist by trying to pinpoint the boysâ precise location using SpaceX or Boring Co. technology, pumping water or providing heavy-duty battery packs known as Tesla Inc. Powerwalls.Source: Google News Thailand | Netizen 24 Thailand