Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images
Made out of a Falcon 9’s liquid oxygen transfer tube
Earlier this week, Musk noted that they were considering a couple of options, from drilling holes into the cave, to constructing an inflatable tube, to some kind of Kevlar escape pod. Since then, he says that their “primary path” is a submarine constructed out of a liquid oxygen transfer tube as a hull, which would be small enough to fit into the cave, but also light enough to be carried to the trapped children by divers.
The 12 boys and their coach were discovered alive by rescue divers last week after they were trapped by floodwaters in the caves in late June. While the members of the team are currently safe, they’re in a dangerous situation. Oxygen in the cave has since become depleted, and Navy divers have to make a perilous, six-hour dive to reach chamber where they’re trapped. Already, one diver, Petty Officer Saman Gunan of the Royal Thai Navy, died on Thursday. There had been hope that the team might be able to wait out the floodwaters, but the coming rainy season has also lead to discussions that the children, not all of whom can swim, should be brought out one by one by divers.
Musk’s vehicle seems to bypass that potentially-hazardous plan by hauling each child out in a pod, potentially eliminating the need to give the soccer players a crash course in diving.
We’ve reached out to SpaceX and the Boring Company for additional details, and will update if we hear back.