Friday, 20 July, 2018

Elon Musk sends help for soccer team stuck in Thailand cave

Image Source CNN Image Source CNN
Elsie Buchanan | 10 July, 2018, 08:13

Musk said he was sending teams from his private space exploration firm SpaceX and the engineering firm Boring Co. which is developing tunnelling systems for transportation projects.

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.

CNN reports Musk noted early Friday he was sending SpaceX and Boring Co. engineers over to Thailand to assess things in person, an assertion backed up by the Thai government.

Musk acknowledged there are many complexities to the rescue mission, he has begun brainstorming some ideas that involve inserting a one-metre nylon tube through the cave network and inflating it with air like a "bouncy castle".

However, the dive is complex - with one Navy SEAL dying during the rescue efforts - and numerous boys do not know how to swim. The billionaire entrepreneur said this would create an underwater air tunnel with the ability to "auto-conform to odd shapes".

A Twitter user highlighted the narrowest parts of the cave, where the diameter is just 70 centimeters (28 inches), as well as parts of the route that are flooded.

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"Looks like 1st bit of water is close enough to entrance to be pumped out. Prob need to enter tube, zip up & then transit". Musk replied: "I suspect that the Thai govt has this under control, but I'm happy to help if there is a way to do so". The team went on a short hike but a monsoon trapped them with few options for getting out.

Will this solution work?

The rising water level in the cave is causing a drop in the oxygen levels, which is causing the boys to exhaust. Musk indicated on Wednesday that he might be able to help with this effort.

The plan will most likely involve the drilling, ground-penetrating Radar and water-pumping expertise of The Boring Company.

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Hours after four boys were confirmed to have been rescued from the cave, Musk tweeted a video of a small submarine-like vessel being tested in a swimming pool.

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