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, have 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 have 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 stated.

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

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

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

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

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

Others weren’t as assured.

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

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

The boys have 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 would push water ranges even larger.

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

This shouldn’t be 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 preserve the lights on.

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