Elon MuskGamesScienceSpaceXThailand

SpaceX’s makeshift mini-sub could serve as space escape pod – GeekWire

Escape pod testing

Escape pod testingEscape pod testingAn underwater rescue pod usual from a SpaceX Falcon 9 liquid-oxygen switch tube undergoes testing in a California swimming pool. (Elon Musk by way of Twitter)

The mini-submarine created by SpaceX engineers might not play a task within the disaster it was designed for — the Thai cave rescue drama that’s now rushing to a decision — however it could be a lifesaver for future space missions.

“With some mods, this could also work as an escape pod in space,” SpaceX’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, stated right now in a collection of tweets sharing the workforce’s progress.

Final week, Musk’s Twitter followers requested him what he could do to assist the group in Thailand that’s working to extract 12 younger soccer gamers and their coach from a flooded cave.

After contemplating a “bouncy castle” air tube that the youngsters may be capable of wriggle via to security, Musk and his staff settled on the thought of constructing a kid-sized submarine, outfitted with exterior air tanks. A foot-wide liquid oxygen switch tube, initially constructed for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, would serve as the hull.

The contraption went by means of dive-pool exams at Palisades Constitution Excessive Faculty in Los Angeles and was despatched on a 17-hour flight to Thailand.

In the meantime, the rescue staff on the Tham Luang cave complicated determined that the state of affairs was too dire to attend any longer. Over the weekend, a staff of professional divers started escorting the youngsters out of the cave. At occasions, the boys needed to be attached with full-face oxygen masks as they swam by means of water filling the slender, pitch-black cave channels.

The disaster could be resolved with out having to resort to SpaceX’s mini-sub, and with out additional fatalities, which everybody agrees can be excellent news.

However in at present’s tweets, Musk made clear that he wouldn’t think about the trouble wasted even when it doesn’t come into play within the flooded Thai cave. The idea could come in useful for future underwater rescues on Earth, or rescues within the vacuum of space.

In any case, it’s instructive to see how the crowdsourced engineering train unfolded over the course of simply a few days. That’s why we’re passing alongside this lengthy string of tweets documenting the creation and testing of the mini-sub:

Some good suggestions from cave specialists in Thailand. Iterating with them on an escape pod design that could be protected sufficient to attempt. Additionally constructing an inflatable tube with airlocks. Much less more likely to work, given tough contours, however nice if it does.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

Obtained extra nice suggestions from Thailand. Main path is principally a tiny, kid-size submarine utilizing the liquid oxygen switch tube of Falcon rocket as hull. Mild sufficient to be carried by 2 divers, sufficiently small to get by means of slender gaps. Extraordinarily strong.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

Proceed to be amazed by the bravery, resilience & tenacity of youngsters & diving staff in Thailand. Human character at its greatest.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

Properly, are you able to get it achieved in time earlier than the rains flood the cave-?

— Aiyana Skye (@aiyanaskye) July 7, 2018

Development full in about eight hours, then 17 hour flight to Thailand

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

I’m in LA working with the SpaceX workforce constructing the child mini-sub

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

four handles/hitch factors on entrance & four on rear. 2 air tank connections on entrance & 2 on rear, permitting 1 to four tanks concurrently related, all recessed for impression safety w secondary cap seal if leak develops.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

Fitted for a child or small grownup to attenuate open air. Segmented compartments to put rocks or dive weights & regulate bouyancy.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

Extraordinarily gifted dive group. Is sensible given monsoon. Godspeed. https://t.co/t5XRo3gTxK

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

I hope you proceed on with mini-sub simply Incase.

— Ed ☯️ Humilitatem (@DowdEdward) July eight, 2018

Will do. Even when not helpful right here, maybe it is going to be in a future state of affairs.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Dive Group are utilizing CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk’s concept ‘Mini-Submarine’ in rescure operation. #ThailandCaveRescue #ThaiCaveRescue pic.twitter.com/mFYXxhXN0M

— Raveen Aujmaya (@raveenaujmaya) July eight, 2018

Fairly shut. There’s a nosecone on the entrance to guard towards rocks impacting fwd air hoses with a gap on the aspect for hoses to exit.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

pic.twitter.com/3VbHrJJq5g

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Design based mostly on dive group suggestions (primarily Stanton): four air / oxygen ports entrance & rear, entrance ports protected by nosecone. Twin O-ring seal on acrylic rear plate with clear view of occupant head. Leak/buckling proof to 10X cave water strain.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Buoyancy adjusted by strapping diver weight belts round physique of capsule. They’re prevented from sliding off by the 6 diver handhold attachments.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Gosh, really feel like you should leverage each public state of affairs in your personal aggrandizement a lot? You do know there are tons of of specialists already working this throughout a number of counties, no? #narcissism

— Dr. John Grohol (@DocJohnG) July eight, 2018

If I’m a narcissist (which is perhaps true), no less than I’m a helpful one

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

pic.twitter.com/jL2sPT0NCp

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Aluminum shell has excessive thermal conductivity, so might be near ambient. If ambient is chilly, a skinny layer of neoprene insulation round inside will hold occupant heat.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Not a horrible concept to throw an iphone/ipod with a bluetooth speaker into the tube to maintain the youngsters calm whereas they’re being banged round. You’ll be able to hold the youngsters busy whereas they’re ready by asking them to put in writing down their favourite track.

— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) July eight, 2018

Yeah, that sounds cool. Music makes issues higher. Calms the thoughts. Including padded wall pockets for a hand radio & telephone/music participant.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Testing underwater in LA pool pic.twitter.com/CDO2mtjP2D

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

what are you utilizing as ballast?

— Kyle Brubaker (@KyleBrubaker) July eight, 2018

Diver weight belts wrapped round outdoors. Mini-sub solely weighs ~40kg dry, really easy to hold on lengthy dry sections of cave, then add weight belts for moist sections.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

pic.twitter.com/nYUdW7JMXC

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

pic.twitter.com/D1umiFDr1t

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

With some mods, this could additionally work as an escape pod in space

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Thanks @palicharterhigh for letting us use your pool

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

the turnaround in designing, producing and testing this factor is superb. your engineers should love their jobs.

— scoops (@imscoops) July eight, 2018

It’s an honor to work with them

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Mini-sub arriving in about 17 hours. Hopefully helpful. If not, maybe will probably be in a future state of affairs.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

I’ve seen some stories that the narrowest a part of the cave is roughly 72 cm by 38 cm (see hooked up diagram as an example). What’s the diameter of the tube? If it is over 38 cm, would not it get caught on this spot? Or are these diagrams improper? pic.twitter.com/ppO6wRJROb

— Timothy B. Lee (@binarybits) July eight, 2018

Tube diameter is 31cm

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Nicely accomplished. Appears helpful for some type of emergency however will it make it via the tightest turns of the Thai cave? That one notably slender spot looks like it will be unsuitable to something that wasn’t as versatile as a human physique. If it’s going to, then superior.

— Brandie Weikle (@bweikle) July eight, 2018

In accordance with divers who’ve made the journey, that is able to maneuvering by means of all passages

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

That is excellent news. Large because of @elonmusk and all the specialists worldwide who’ve assisted the Thai authorities with this rescue. Certainly, good issues can occur when individuals (particularly individuals worldwide) work collectively. #AwesomeHumans #Thailand https://t.co/X7BbQyQN69

— Sean Gardner (@2morrowknight) July eight, 2018

Thanks, however we’ve not accomplished something helpful but. It’s all different individuals.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July eight, 2018

Simulating maneuvering by means of a slender passage pic.twitter.com/2z01Ut3vxJ

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2018

Is there sufficient space to securely flip it on the backside to go up? pic.twitter.com/XoJ5EApnp8

— Anna Elizabeth (@Anna_online) July 9, 2018

In line with divers who’ve made the passage, sure. Nevertheless, we additionally made a precise duplicate that’s inflatable, in order that all the path could be examined with out danger of blockage.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2018

What number of mini-subs did you make? Every spherical journey takes 11 hours (in all probability slower carrying the sub and youngsters), so can be good to take a number of of them out at a time.

— Enoch Ko (@EnochKo) July 9, 2018

A second one that’s 30cm shorter is nearly full

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2018

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