Elon Musk Current Affairs

India’s first Hyperloop to come up in Andhra Pradesh

India’s first Hyperloop project will come up in Andhra Pradesh, connecting its city centres, Vijayawada and Amaravati.

In this regard, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) has inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) for developing the project.

Key Facts

The first of its kind project in India will use a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with funding primarily from private investors. In its first phase, HTT will conduct six-month feasibility study, following which it will construct and build HTT’s first Hyperloop in India. The proposed hyperloop will cover 35 km distance between Vijayawada and Amaravati only in five minutes.

Hyperloop Technology

Hyperloop Technology is brainchild idea of technology entrepreneur Elon Musk who dubs it as fifth mode of transportation. It is system of magnetically levitating capsules (pods) that are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes. It envisages tube modular transport system that runs free of friction. It uses linear Induction motors in it to control speed of pods. It is still in trial stages in different countries and not been implemented for practical use anywhere in world yet.

Advantages

Hyperloop is two-to-three times faster than fastest high-speed rail and claimed to have speeds even greater than commercial air travel. It has smaller civil engineering footprint, with no direct emissions or noise compared to railways. Hyperloop system’s capital cost per mile is 60% that of high-speed rail, and is less expensive to operate. Furthermore, Hyperloop departures could happen with a low frequency of a pod every 20 seconds which is not possible in railways.

Challenges

It requires heavy investments and therefore effective public and private sector coordination is prerequisite for implementing it. It consumes high-power compared to railways. Technical challenges and accidents may hamper its progress.

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket successfully places 10 satellites into orbit

US based rocket manufacturing company SpaceX successfully launched constellation of 10 satellites into orbit on board of its two stage Falcon 9 Rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The satellites were deployed into the designated to low-Earth orbit about an hour after launch. Besides, rocket’s first stag also landed upright on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean south of Vandenberg.

Key Facts
  • The constellation of 10 satellites was launched as part of McLean, Virginia-based Iridium’s project to replace its existing network of satellites that provide global voice and data communications.
  • This was SpaceX’s first launch since September 2016 accident of similar rocket on a Florida launch pad which exploded after its launch along with $200 million Israeli communications satellites Amos-6.

About SpaceX

  • SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California, US.
  • It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and former PayPal entrepreneur with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.
  • SpaceX has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both designed to be reusable. It also has developed Dragon spacecraft to supply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). It is also developing a manned version of Dragon is in development.
  • SpaceX’s achievements: First privately funded, liquid-propellant rocket Falcon 1 to reach orbit in 2008. First privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon) in 2010. First private company to send a spacecraft (Dragon) to the ISS, in 2012.
  • As of July 2016, it has flown nine missions to the ISS under a cargo resupply contract with NASA signed in 2006.

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