In northern Thailand, a group of boys remain trapped in a deep underground cave system while floodwaters rise. Although they have rescued four of the boys, the rest idly wait as expert divers regroup and restock their supplies. Fortunately, the rescue team now has a new option thanks to Elon Musk and a team of SpaceX Engineers. A kid-sized submarine has been built to accommodate a kid or small adult and features the liquid oxygen transfer tube of the Falcon 9 rocket as its hull, according to New Atlas.
The submarine weighs 88 pounds when dry, making it light enough for divers to carry in dry sections of the cave. Its diameter is 31 cm and the submarine was built to be pushed through the “choke point,” the narrowest part of the cave.
The construction of the submarine took approximately eight hours and has been tested in an LA pool with a person inside, which included maneuvering it through obstacles. It is currently being flown to northern Thailand.
Musk hopes the submarine will provide rescuers with an alternative option for getting the remaining eight children and their coach out of the cave safely.
“Mini-sub arriving in about 17 hours,” Musk tweeted. “Hopefully useful. If not, perhaps it will be in a future situation.”
Filed Under: Test + measurement • test equipment