Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Elon Musk says first passengers on SpaceX rockets must be 'brave'

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Christy Curtis | 21 July, 2017, 01:35

In a tantalizing Tweet, Elon Musk says he has "verbal government approval" to build a tunnel for high-speed transportation from NY to Washington.

The Acela Express, the current fastest rail service in the Northeast Corridor, tops out at 135 miles per hour between NY and Washington. However, at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference, Musk has said that this system won't be used because it would require too much effort to ensure that the capsule meets very strict safety standards. It's not clear if Musk has bought a tunnel boring machine in Washington; the only tunnel the company has dug so far is in the parking lot of SpaceX.

SpaceX's chief said Wednesday that the first launch of its big new rocket is risky and stands "a real good chance" of failure. The Department of Transportation did not immediately return The Hill's request for comment on the matter.

Last month, Musk tweeted that he had "promising conversations" about a tunnel network with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Elon Musk's hyperloop - the superfast, underground, magnetic-rail train that theoretically reduces travel time from hours to minutes - is coming to the East Coast. On 19 July, Elon Musk announced that his company would be redesigning its Mars landing plans and moving away from the previous Red Dragon lander.

His series of tweets indicate that while The Boring Company, the infrastructure and tunneling company that Musk founded, received "verbal" government approval, there are still steps to be made before getting formal approval. "Permits [are] harder than technology", Musk tweeted in June.

The "verbal approval" likely came from somebody within the Trump administration.

"Then prob LA-SF and a TX loop", he tweeted. The white paper has spawned other Hyperloop companies not affiliated with Musk, like Hyperloop One.

In 2013, Musk said a hyperloop between Los Angeles and San Francisco would cost less than $6 billion and would take 7-10 years for completion.

Elon Musk tamped down expectations about Space Exploration Technologies Corp's new rocket created to carry private citizens into space, saying whoever chooses to be among the first passengers will need to be "brave".

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