Elon Musk’s team of engineers from SpaceX and the Boring Company went to Thailand to assist rescuers in retrieving the trapped soccer team in the Tham Luang cave complex. According to The Verge, the CEO just announced the company’s plan to build a “tiny, kid-sized submarine,” which will be constructed from the very parts of the Falcon 9 rocket.
Earlier this week, the Tesla owner said that they were considering a plethora of options. This includes drilling holes into the cave and constructing an inflatable tube. He also gave in to the idea of building a Kevlar escape pod.
Since then, however, Musk decided that the company’s “primary path” is to move forward with a submarine. It will reportedly be constructed out of a liquid transfer tube as a hull. The latter, according to him and the engineers, should be small enough to fit into the aforementioned cave. Interestingly, it will be built in a way that it is light enough to carry the trapped children.to carry the trapped children.
After announcing his plans on Twitter, Musk has received hundreds of replies from users to which he replied vigorously. Musk reassured the people that the vehicle SpaceX is building is “fitted for a kid or small adult to minimize open air.” He even stated that it will have compartments so as to add weights, making it account for buoyancy.
Moreover, Musk said that the pods will have handles on both front and rear, as well as some tank connectors in order to attach up to four tanks. In a series of follow-up tweets, he explained that his company is currently working and building the vehicle. He anticipates that in eight hours it should be completed before it gets flown to Thailand.
The 12 boys were discovered alive together with their coach thanks to rescue divers. They were reportedly trapped by floodwaters in the caves in late June. Although all of them are guaranteed safe, they are still in a dangerous situation. For starters, the oxygen in the cave has started to deplete.
For the divers to reach them, they have to take a perilous, six-hour dive. Otherwise, they will not make it to the chamber. Unfortunately, one diver died, and he was none other than the Petty Officer Saman Gunan of the Royal Thai Navy.
As of this writing, the Thai authorities have not given any reaction to Musk’s idea. However, many do not deny the fact that his vehicle could certainly make wonders in the rescue effort to save the trapped soccer team.
Much of the cave’s path is flooded and, thus, making it difficult for the rescuers to penetrate. The cave even gets narrower at 70 cm. A route that narrow is undeniably a huge challenge for even the most experienced and elite of cave divers.
What is even difficult is that almost all of the boys have no knowledge about swimming. With that said, it is almost impossible to provide each of them the training necessary to swim out, even with the professional help at hand.
The boys have been trapped for about 9 days before divers found them. For 9 days, they had to food, water, and even light. While doctors assured their families that necessary treatment and medical attention have been given, it is still a challenge considering the volatile situation they are in.
Musk’s submarine could allow divers to bring the boys out without requiring the latter to do anything other than lay still. Sure, it would be a harrowing and claustrophobic experience, but it is perhaps a better option than the conventional scuba diving – an idea that Musk himself promoted.