What will it take to get the Hyperloop to work on Mars? Kids Talk Radio Science and the Barboza Space Center want to build a prototype of this ideas and we are talking to the Rloop team to get some creative ideas. And now for the rest of the story.
After Elon’s public discussion of the HyperLoop, he was surprised by the overwhelming interest in the concept from the public. That interest inspired him to release the monumental Hyperloop Alpha paper in 2013, which presented a number of novel solutions to problems that would arise from traveling at hypersonic speeds inside a tube.
One problem was the requirement to eliminate rolling resistance from wheels. Another was the power and reliability issues associated with a complete vacuum in the tube. And the most difficult problem would be the build up of air pressure in front of the pod as it traveled at fast speeds, an effect known as the Kantrowitz Limit (or the syringe effect).
At that time, Elon was not sure what would happen to the concept once released – but the Hyperloop went viral. He had originally thought he would have to create a subscale version himself to iron out the details, but the overwhelming interest from the public in this new mode of transportation gave him the idea of creating a contest to crowdsource the solutions.
On June 15th, 2015, SpaceX announced a competition, open to the public, where teams could submit designs for pods and subsystems that could have a chance to be tested on an actual track at SpaceX headquarters in the summer of 2016. This is when rLoop was born.
In the comments section of an article about the competition on the SpaceX subreddit, a number of members began proposing that they should collectively form a team; that maybe strangers on the internet could come together, united by a common goal, and compete against top engineering companies and universities in the world.