Thailand mentioned two members of the engineering group dispatched by billionaire Elon Musk are due to arrive late Saturday to assist with efforts to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave.
Another engineer was already in the nation on vacation and 6 extra are anticipated to land Sunday, Weerachon Sukhontapatipak, a spokesman for Thailand’s army authorities, mentioned in a Saturday briefing in Bangkok. They might present assist resembling making an attempt to drill a tunnel to save the group, he mentioned.
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The boys and their coach have been trapped in the cave system in the nation’s north for about two weeks, and heavy rainfall looms in the times forward. Rescuers are scrambling to decrease water ranges with pumps and put together the group for a deadly, hours-long extraction that would come with diving via pitch-black water with scuba gear.
Musk, who studied physics, has floated concepts on Twitter resembling utilizing a double-layer Kevlar stress pod or an extended inflatable air sock to penetrate the slim passageways and supply a rescue conduit. The tubes and pods are being constructed in the U.S., a spokesman mentioned. Some gear is touring with the group and a few will probably be categorical shipped.
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“No want for SCUBA mouthpiece or regulator,” Musk wrote about his suggested pods. “Training pointless & much less prone to panic assault.” Musk mentioned they had been being examined Friday afternoon in a pool with a topic who had by no means been scuba diving.
Any air sock or tube would have to be powerful sufficient to stand up to excessive water stress — probably two tons of drive at a depth of 15 feet– and sharp rocks, mentioned Douglas Hart, a professor of mechanical engineering on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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On Saturday, Musk mentioned on Twitter there’s “some good suggestions from cave consultants in Thailand” and that he’s “iterating with them on an escape pod design that could be protected sufficient to strive.”
“Also constructing an inflatable tube with airlocks,” he wrote. “Less possible to work, given tough contours, however nice if it does.”
A Thai Navy SEAL serving to with the rescue operation died Friday after operating out of oxygen, underlining the hazards of navigating the flooded cave system even for these with expertise. Cave diving is broadly considered treacherous and the stranded group is believed to have little swimming capacity, not to mention diving know-how.
Officials have additionally contemplated supplying the boys and their coach with meals, water and oxygen to keep in the cave probably for months till the monsoon ends and waters recede. But the anticipated heavy rains increase the danger of elevated flooding and restricted entry.
A spokesman for Musk has beforehand mentioned that the billionaire’s corporations might help by making an attempt to pinpoint the boys’ exact location utilizing Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or Boring Co. know-how, pumping water or offering heavy-duty battery packs often called Tesla Inc. Powerwalls.
Updates with Musk’s tweet in seventh paragraph.
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