Now this is podracing! Or at the very least podtesting. This past Sunday, SpaceX brought together teams of engineers from all over the world to their Hawthorne, CA headquarters for the second SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition. The brilliant minds were assembled to put their Hyperloop pod prototypes to the test, bringing Elon Musk's vision of a high-speed, pressurized tube-based system of transportation one step closer to reality. Thankfully, competition drives innovation and at the end of the weekend's festivities, a team of 30 students from Germany absolutely shattered the previous speed record for a Hyperloop test pod.
Hailing from Munich Technical University, WARR Hyperloop's prototype pod accelerated to a blistering 324 kilometers per hour, which is approximately 201 miles per hour. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was quick to take to Twitter to congratulate the winning team, and share a video of the prototype in action.
Warning! This video could potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.
The lightweight, carbon-fiber pod weighs in at 176 pounds, is powered by a 50kW electric motor, and can come to a complete halt within five seconds thanks to its four pneumatic friction brakes. This marks the second competition that Munich Technical University's Hyperloop team has won. Back in January, its prototype took home the honors for fastest pod, which was a mere 58 MPH by comparison.
For those of you worried that the video above is indicative of the final Hyperloop experience, fret not. Elon Musk clarified in a subsequent tweet that "a Hyperloop passenger version wouldn't have intense light strobe effect" or "uncomfortable acceleration." These discomforts were just for testing purposes, with Musk adding that "high [acceleration is] only needed because [the] tube is short," and promising "no spilt drinks" on the final passenger version.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg for what's going on in the wild world of Elon Musk. Also on today's episode of Muskwatch, we're getting into the latest from SpaceX's newly designed spacesuits, rumors that Elon is secretly a time traveler, the unexpected perk available to Tesla owners, and much more.
Muskwatch airs on Nerdist.com and YouTube every Tuesday, but you can hack the planet and watch it two full days earlier on Sunday if you’re an Alpha subscriber. Find out how you can get 30 days free (and be 48 hours smarter than your dumb friends) right here.
What do you think of this week’s top stories? What else would you like to see us discuss on Muskwatch? Let us know in the comments below!
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Image: WARR Hyperloop/Facebook