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Elon Musk wants to build a Hyperloop test track in Texas

Musk says that when the Hyperloop test track in finished, he wants to invite students to design and race pods as part of an annual competition.

By
Brooks Hays
What the tube-traveling Hyperloop pod technology might look like. Photo by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
What the tube-traveling Hyperloop pod technology might look like. Photo by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

HAWTHORNE, Calif., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- When Elon Musk tweets, the tech world listens. That was the case Thursday, as the founder of SpaceX instigated a cyber freakout with news that he plans to build a Hyperloop test track in Texas.

Musk's Tesla Motors continues to turn heads in the car world, and his aerospace company continues to make headway in revolutionizing the space travel industry. Now, he's ready to try his hand at mass transit technology.

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Hyperloop is a theoretical transportation system -- involving train-like pods powered by air compression through frictionless low-pressure tubes -- popularized by Elon Musk. Hundreds of engineers around the country have been working on the concept for several months. Their collaboration is organized under the crowd-sourced research company known as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

While Musk hasn't been directly involved with the company -- he says he doesn't have time for the project -- he may be soon. He has, however, lent the skills and expertise of his engineers to the effort. And in December, the former director of mission operations at SpaceX, Dr. Marco Villa, announced he'd be lending his talents (with Musk's blessing) to HTT.

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Now, Musk has announced via Twitter that he will spearhead the construction of a Hyperloop test track, "most likely" somewhere in Texas. Some social media users wondered: why Texas? But the science and tech-heavy Lone Star State seems a logical choice, as Musk already has plans for a SpaceX rocket facility in Brownsville, on the Gulf.

Musk says that when the Hyperloop test track in finished, he wants to invite students to design and race pods as part of an annual competition.

It all sounds a bit outlandish, but by now, it seems foolish to doubt Musk.

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