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Students Race SpaceX Hyperloop Prototype Pods
June 23 2018, 11:22 | Alonzo Simpson
Paradigm’s prototype uses an air-bearing pod rather than magnetic propulsion which many other teams are likely using. Handout
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and one of the major proponents of hyperloop technology, met with WARR after their victory.
The team, named WARR Hyperloop, was one of three finalists to participate in Sunday's competition, held at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. The winning team, comprised of students from the Technical University of Munich, raced a "pod" that hit a peak speed of 201 miles an hour on a almost one-mile track. Made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, the pod weighs only 176 lbs. Each team had to build a prototype pod that could travel down a.75-mile (1.2-kilometer) vacuum tube.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk released this lone image showing a Model S at the opening of the tunnel in Hawthorne. Musk congratulated WARR in a tweet on Sunday, adding in a subsequent tweet that it may be possible to reach "supersonic" speeds in the test Hyperloop tube. He claims the Hyperloop system could whisk people from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or from Munich to Berlin, in about 30 minutes.
The WARR team's winning pod is powered by an electric motor and lithium-polymer batteries. In order to slow down from that speed, four pneumatic friction brakes achieve a 2.4 g deceleration to bring the pod to a stop in five seconds. Sunday's test was far below the more than 700 miles per hour Musk originally proposed but well over speeds in a previous student contest in January.