It has been almost five years since Elon Musk first proposed the Hyperloop train concept that presented a sci-fi idea of a train propelled through a vacuum tube at blistering speeds across vast distances.
After more than a year of intensive design work and construction, the Badgerloop team brought its 15-foot-long, 2,100-pound pod to California for the competition.
SpaceX hosted a hyperloop pod design test competition at its Hawthorne headquarters this past weekend, where student teams got the chance to run their pod designs in low-pressure environments in a test track for the first time. Teams had to first pass a series of tests to be eligible for a run, ranging from a structural test to a vacuum chamber test, and only three university teams made the cut: MIT, Delft University, and Technical University.
According to TechCrunch, while three pods were tested on the day, a total of 30 teams had been invited to take part, but who had all failed to build a pod ready for the test track. "We received great feedback from the SpaceX judges and from talking with the other teams". Delft University had previously won the Pod Innovation Award.
The Delft Hyperloop team from Delft University in the Netherlands triumphed after gaining the highest overall score with its super-sleek carbon-fiber pod (above) incorporating a specially designed brake and stabilization system. Badgerloop got its wish when, after delivering remarks at the competition, Musk toured the various teams' booths and took the opportunity to sit in the Badgerloop pod. And MIT placed third overall in the competition, which was judged by SpaceX engineers.
Elon Musk's second Hyperloop Pod Competition phase was recently held over the weekend. "Badgerloop is definitely going to continue, and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish", Holesovsky says.