Elon Musk Thinks a Minisubmarine Could Help in Thai Cave Rescue

Engineers from firms led by Elon Musk, the billionaire recognized for outside-the-box concepts like his aspiration to colonize Mars, had been en path to Thailand on Saturday to supply their experience to assist rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand.

The engineers had been despatched from Tesla, Mr. Musk’s electrical automobile firm; SpaceX, his rocket firm; and the Boring Company, which specializes in tunneling and building, a Boring Company spokesman mentioned.

There are two or three engineers on the bottom in Thailand, with extra on the way in which, the spokesman mentioned. He mentioned representatives from the businesses had been in discussions with the Thai authorities about how they may assist.

Divers started a rescue mission on Sunday morning that might proceed for a number of days, mentioned its commander, Narongsak Osottanakorn.

On Twitter, Mr. Musk has mused about potential innovations that might assist the trapped soccer group, together with a miniature submarine comprised of a part of a SpaceX rocket.

Edgar Choueiri, a professor at Princeton University who specializes in rocket analysis, mentioned Mr. Musk’s submarine thought advised that he imagined the Falcon rocket’s hole switch tube — which helps transfer liquid oxygen to gas the rocket’s engine — can be the suitable dimension to switch the boys out of the flooded cave.

“I would never bet against Elon Musk,” Mr. Choueiri mentioned.

Others weren’t as assured.

Greg Moore, a regional director for the National Cave Rescue Commission, mentioned most rescues immediate a collection of newfangled concepts that aren’t essentially sensible. Mr. Musk’s submarine would doubtless have bother becoming by means of the narrowest passageways, he mentioned.

Earlier, Mr. Musk had suggested a nylon tube that will inflate like a bouncy citadel to type an underwater air tunnel.

The boys had been trapped in the cave for 10 days earlier than a group of cave divers discovered them alive final week. Rescuers are worried about diminishing oxygen levels in the cavern the place they’ve taken refuge, in addition to monsoon rains that might push water ranges even increased.

On Friday, a former Thai Navy SEAL lost consciousness and died whereas inserting oxygen canisters on a route throughout the cave getting used in the rescue effort.

This just isn’t Mr. Musk’s first foray into emergency help. In the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which resulted in devastating energy outages, Tesla provided batteries to assist maintain the lights on.

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