Elon Musk joins attempt to save boys trapped in cave in Thailand
Elon Musk is sending experts, technology, and offering advice on possible ways to save the boys stuck in a cave in Thailand. Musk is CEO of Tesla, Space X, and The Boring Company. The Boring Company specializes in infrastructure and tunnel construction. It plans to build tunnels under major US cities to speed up the movement of vehicles.
The Boring Company has state-of-the-art tunneling technology and engineers. Some engineers are currently in Thailand trying to help the rescue effort.
The Boring company also has advanced ground penetrating radar technology. Musk is trying to use the technology plus the engineers’ expertise to help rescue the boys.
Twelve boys stranded
A junior football team consisting of twelve boys and their coach are stranded in a northern Thailand cave. They became stranded following a flash flood two weeks ago.
The only way to get out is through an underwater tunnel system.
However, Thai authorities say that the boys are not strong enough divers. In other words, getting the boys to swim their way out would be too risky. To complicate matters, heavy rains are on their way.
Some good feedback from cave experts in Thailand. Iterating with them on an escape pod design that might be safe enough to try. Also building an inflatable tube with airlocks. Less likely to work, given tricky contours, but great if it does.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 7 July 2018
Elon Musk – two options
Musk explained via Twitter that he has received some good feedback from cave experts who are currently in Thailand.
He added that he is considering an escape pod design. Nobody has ever tried using an escape pod to get people out of such a cave. However, he believes the escape pod idea may be safe enough to try.
Another option is to build an inflatable tube with airlocks, Musk added. However, he explains that it is less likely to work because of ‘tricky contours.’
Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes like the 70cm hole.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 6 July 2018
The following quotes come from some Tweets that Elon Musk sent on Saturday:
“Will do my best to help the team. The team will dig deep and will help at the best of ability. But let’s not submit to the bad mood entirely. And for that I have a surprise to brighten up the day.”
Video – boys write to their parents
This CBS This Morning video tells us that the boys are writing letter to their parents. They have been in the cave for fifteen days. Rescue attempts will not be possible this weekend because of heavy rains.