Hyperloop completes its first crewed trip successfully
Hyperloop is moving ahead at breakneck speeds. Since going into a strategic partnership with the Virgin Group, Hyperloop has moved forward with testing quickly. Virgin Hyperloop has now taken a massive step to achieving a new form of high-speed transport with its first crewed test being completed without a hitch.
A test facility was built in the deserts of Nevada, with a 500m long tube that is fully operational. This past weekend a crewed trip was completed in full vacuum, with two passengers completing the trip. Who were the brave individuals who completed the first trip? It was done by the company co-founder Josh Giegel and head of Passenger Experience Sara Lucian.
Giegel, who is the head of the project, volunteered to take part to show how confident they are in the technology and the progress they have made. Lucian was chosen from a list of 40 employees who volunteered to take part. The company says that both were given extensive tests and training to ensure they were healthy and prepared for the trip.
Virgin Hyperloop’s representatives said there was a heavy focus on safety, given the level of attention the journey was likely to provoke. The passengers were walked through the tube and shown the various exit points and procedures to ensure that they could escape in case things failed. The pair was also in constant contact with the control desk.
The 500m tube is not a very long distance to travel, of course, so they could only reach 107 mph. But this is a fraction of what is envisioned for Hyperloop. It is set to connect big metropolitan hubs with trips that could replace air travel. It is expected that the Hyperloop will reach speeds of 500-600 km/h, but without the need for the extremely long waits at airports. The wait times will be similar to what you see at traditional train station.
The crew travelled in a brand new, second-generation Hyperloop pod, codenamed XP-2, the “Pegasus Pod.” This was specifically built for two passengers, but the final product is expected to seat similar numbers as today’s rail services.