Elon Musk wows students at Hyperloop contest

Image: Elon Musk
Elon Musk, the originator of the Hyperloop concept, addresses students. (Texas A&M photo)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology won the top rating in the design phase of a SpaceX-sponsored contest to develop levitating cars for a Hyperloop rapid-transit test track. More than 20 other teams, including a student group from the University of Washington, were also cleared for this year’s big race.

The design weekend, conducted at Texas A&M University, marked the first winnowing of the field for the competition. More than 115 student engineering teams, representing 27 U.S. states and 20 countries, participated in the event.

The highlights included a talk by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx – and a surprise appearance by Elon Musk, the billionaire who heads SpaceX as well as the Tesla electric-car company.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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