Elon Musk and SpaceX Want Your ideas By Innovation Cloud, 18.06.2015

Elon Musk and SpaceX Want Your ideas

Imagine travelling from Los Angeles to San Francisco - a distance of 400 miles - in under half an hour and for free. Well, that’s exactly what a new transportation system envisioned by Elon Musk, CIO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, sets out to do. 

The ambitious Hyperloop idea, first officially revealed in a whitepaper published in 2013, is being built by Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies,Inc. 

Hyperloop Train
“While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype
- Official statement:http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop
“The Hyperloop is a capsule full of people inside a tube elevated on pylons,” says Ahlborn. “Inside the tube we create a low pressure environment so the capsule doesn’t encounter a lot of resistance and can reach speeds of 1,200kmh (740mph).”

Less than two years later, SpaceX builds a 1-3 miles long Hyperloop test track outside its Hawthorne, California headquarters with plans to test the technology within a year.

Next step: Collect ideas for pod design in the Open Competition, hosted by SpaceX.

Ahlborn’s Dream team

Ahlborn put together the team of around 360 professionals who applied for the right to work on the project and nearly all of them have day jobs at the companies like NASA, Yahoo!, Boeng, Airbus, Salesforce and Stanford. They’ve been attracted with stock options in the company and by the importance of the project.

The major hype around this idea to actually shoot out people through tubes close to the speed of sound attracted over 10,000 people from academia and engineering who contribute their ideas daily to help Hyperloop become a reality.

How close are they?

Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, there is now a quite good chance that affordable or even free superfast transportation may become our reality in the coming decade.

Comparison between Hyperloop idea and California Speed RailWhat started as an alternative idea to the most expensive public works project in the US history - California High-Speed Rail and its 220 miles per hour trains and costs that exceed $70 billion dollars, soon became an open source project that attracts young minds across the globe to make Hyperloop reality

Hyperloop will consist of the two parallel tubes standing on pylons with vacuum through which capsules with passengers will be propelled to the desired destination at the top speed of 1200 km/h.

Ahlborn says the questions of how to build the low-pressure tube and the pylons that support it have mostly been solved, and creating the capsules shouldn’t be too tricky. So a lot of the technical and feasibility issues people were debating are solved.

There are many more to resolve ahead, for sure. The biggest issues are speed and scale.

The SpaceX Competition

They need more ideas to piece together the big Hyperloop puzzle and in the spirit of the true open source project SpaceX launched the Official SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition to get to the best Pod’s design and prototype faster.

The challenge is aimed at students and independent engineering teams and will be hosted at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California next June. 

Groups that want to join in will have to do so by September 2015, with the first “design weekend” being held in January 2016. The finished race will be held in June 2016.

Companies will also be able to attend the contest to see what teams they might be interested in sponsoring.

If you have any idea on how to create or design pods that can carry people through the tube at the speed of 200 mph, you might get a job!

You have a better design idea for future trains? Join the Competition.

Submission ends 5pm PDT on Sept. 15, 2015

Rules & Prizes

No word on prize at the moment.

Full rules and other details of the SpaceX competition will be released in August.

Next January, entrants will meet for a design weekend at the Texas A&M University. The designs will be presented before an evaluation panel composed mainly of engineers from SpaceX and Musk’s luxury electric-car company, Tesla Motors, and university professors.

Private companies will be able to use the weekend to choose teams to sponsor and fund.

SpaceX said it also probably will build its own pod for demonstration purposes, but its team won’t be eligible to win the competition. The company also will have the final say on who actually gets to use the test track.

Official SpaceX Hyperloop competition document


Question remains...

How will they effectively manage the response from all who accept this challenge? The answer may lie in software solutions such as: Innovation Cloud and DataStation. Innovation Cloud is free idea management online software that might be just what SpaceX needs to host this challenge competition. 


Step up

Musk and Ahlborn leverage crowdsource, crowdfunding and open innovation principles to bring as many minds a possible to sort and answer the myriad of the questions coming with this ambitious idea.

As the leaders, they both have enough experience, belief and persistence to drive this to execution. And deep pockets of the many investors.

So step up, join his team and create something of meaning, or continue working on your next big app or operating system.

The choice is always yours.


  • I solved unified theory, Shapes, colors, pressures, 2547 spaces for gravity to occupy of either a shape, color, or pressure. : I also have plans for a starship, 20 min flights. One occupant. What's real, did I die and I can build a starship and fly back to earth where people would really listen to me?

  • Hi Elon, I believe like you we live in a simulation and problems of our world is kind of quiz which we all have to solve. Almost two years, I think about this; if we believe in a simulation, and if there is no impossible; how we can start solving our problems. We don't have enough time to go the another planet. When we could success (i believe we'll be able to travel and start a living there); all human kind won't have a chance to move. We had to find a way to live here in peace and harmony. Today, with technology and know-how; we've got all instruments to live in abundance. After two years, last winter, I developed a project which “E-Government Portal Project" aimed at meeting the needs of society. I believe, successfully able to collect millions of pieces related to state under "one ministry portal" which are governments, practices, directorships, jurisdictions, schools and universities, corporations, plants and others living in it. Potential costumers were: governments / unions; ministries; local governments; directorates, institutions; companies... Then, I got extremely high (billions) investment propositions for partnership in this project. A short while after, people I don’t know screamed to me “run away to save your life” so many times with so many ways and word. At the begging I didn’t understand and take serious. I had though these were only a test if I’m honest and decent. Then, those things happened to me: 1. "Brain Hack". They can read my thoughts. I'm living proof. Come and see me. And don't let me take medical treatment for month. When I hear something, I automatically transfer it; so they find another reason to punish me more. 2. 'Body Hack’. Nano Robotics in my stomach and blood. 3. I've been poisoning via food, drink, air and other ways by people who I don't know (even my penis, stomach). Also my body, my clothes, computers, phones, sucks ­even my underwear­ and all stuff are bugging most of the time (and still). 4. I've been also Tortured psychologically for a long time. I can't work. I can't read. I can do nothing except running. It’s no possible to take a shower or a haircut even. (bugs) I've been attacked also other kinds. 5. I have been blamed as being "Spy", “CIA”, “Chika” and other things. 6. People also call me like those: Israel, Armenian, Terrorist and so many others. 7. I am threatened with my family, friends, companies and acquaintances. This all started where I used to live in Turkey. Since then I've been escaping to several countries. My all freedom and rights are taken from me for several months. Which are: living right, health care right, education right, freedom of thought, belief freedom, worshiping right, private life privacy, economic rights. Now I'm very sick. Sometimes It's difficult even to walk or stand on foot. I need to find a secure, safe country and be refugee (asylum) where I can a be sergeant and get medical treatment helps. This is not about only bugs, also about DNA and Nano Robotics. My life is in danger. People tells me that I'm also cancer. People are still chasing me. And, I can't deal with those attacks everyday. Two days ago, I flighted to Mexico but, Mexican Police sent me back to Guatemala at the airport. Although I had visa and told them I'll go tho US Consulate at USA Border. Now, I'm stuck in Guatemala City again. My phone is stolen in Colombia..Because of fraudsters are canceled things (like flight) my money finished. If you can find a way to save me from here; I would like meet with you. I would be so happy to present you my prototype of the web portal. Best regards, Sincerly, Selatin Karaoglan, Turkish Citizen in Guatemala City. selatinkaraoglan@gmail.com skype: selatin-karaoglan

  • This is for you consideration, (space X ) saving more fuel or travelling further in to space. The lowest gravity on Earth. Location as for Sir Arthur Charles Clarke is in Sri Lanka ( South of the country ) Its mostly into the sea. I hope it will be useful. Thank you.

  • Hello, my name is Pahl Dixon. I've had the good fortune on my travels to meet many cool innovators. There's a guy in Australia named Noel Orchard who has developed technology that could significantly increase the efficiency and safety of; Tesla cars, space vehicles (radiation nullification!), quantum computers, artificial intelligence, etc. Noel's elegant passive system is laser treated stainless steel plates that work something like this: PLASMONICS Reality is plagued by serious ionic imbalances at the subatomic level. Valences between electrons and other particles are often poorly matched and in dire need of fine tuning to operate smoothly and efficiently. The faces of these stainless steel plates generate plasmons, which are particles that are passively converted from ambient photons into tiny packets of energy with no specific spin or charge which fly way in vast quantities looking for a purpose. They donate themselves to unbalanced molecules and electrical plasma fields where they conveniently take on specific useful qualities in order to; super-oxygenate suffocating and anaerobic living cells, repair nerve damage, heal injuries, step up metabolic processes, improve internal combustion and electrical efficiencies, accelerate electronic machine processes, rev up life force energy... Wearing a small Plasmonic stainless steel medallion oxygenates the whole person and protects from damaging EMF. Hyperbaric chambers in proximity to multiple large Plasmonic plates dramatically increases healing efficacy of pressurized oxygen to accomplish previously unattainable results. Macular degeneration was fully reversed with Plasmonic HBO2 as demonstrated in a proper university medical study. To reiterate, plasmons are mutant photons that have lost their spin and polarity by associating with electrons in a specific manner on shiny textured metallic surfaces. They zoom away from the conversion device, which in this case is laser etched stainless steel plates with micro-holes like nano-Swiss cheese, and then take on charge/spin characteristics appropriate to unbalanced/chaotic ionic situations, which harmonizes amplitudes, valences and other qualities for optimization of electrical plasma and molecular constructs. Plasmons are analogous to stem cells operating in the particle realm. Having less energy than electrons, plasmons are capable of filling in unbalanced electron equations to make energy dynamics operate with higher precision for greater harmony and efficiency. Much like oil in an engine. This technology builds on obscure late work by Nicola Tesla that was intended to mitigate the EMF hazards of AC power. I theorize that plasmon richness on the level of DNA promotes smoother, faster, more accurate genetic activity, structures, expression... Likewise for circuits and magnets and superconductors and so on. Years of goofing around with the innovator of this clever apparatus has convinced me that Plasmonics promotes full-body oxygen saturation, improved metabolic activity, increased electrical efficiency, smoother bio and chemical interactions, highly amplified life force, and advancements in states of consciousness... An interesting observation was that when treating a very large apartment complex to reduce power bills, as well as meters slowing, people's milk freezing, toast burning, and tap water overheating, the shouting went way down and babies cried much less. Tesla said that plasmons promote higher consciousness and right behavior. Seems to be so. Plasmonics applied to AI computing will accelerate processing and may quite possibly impart higher living consciousness. Plasmonics is very likely to promote significantly increased access to other dimensions for quantum computers and linear accelerators and so on. I've seen Plasmonics give vehicles 40% more fuel efficiency, household power bills go down by 30%, plants grow 1/3 faster, computers function more quickly... Of course these pedestrian applications are not in keeping with financial and industrial practices. Noel's Plasmonics is an underground art that is kept off the radar of mass society. (Speaking of elite applications, Plasmonics is also key to an extreme age reversal cocoon system I've designed, but that's another subject.) Quietly doing up cars, rockets, quantum AI, supercollider rings... with Plasmonics is an easy way to increase their capacities, make them much healthier and safer, and as a bonus, broadcast global ambient ionic harmonization... Please let me know what you think of this unique opportunity. And feel free to pass this information on to anyone who might find it interesting. I can make proper introductions to Noel if anyone wants to talk with him and evaluate his products. Keep up the good works! Cheers, Pahl Dixon pahldixon@yahoo.com

  • hello Elon. my name is Vinesh. you have space travel wrong. I have the solution for interstella travel. the solution is here on earth. ask me how.

  • New method for using electricity that will fundamentally change the way we understand how electricity works and can be used in our machines. Retrofit Tesla would quadruple the number of miles it can travel on a charge. Solar systems would NEVER run out of power regardless of weather or limited sunlight. Working prototypes demonstrate what is possible, and can be scaled up. I am contacting as many companies as possible and looking for ONE company to work with. We have NO patent and want to sell our IP.

  • I think that in mars mission of spacex , spacex should not land the whole ship on mars rather it should fixed its main ship in mars orbit and release small capsule like ships to mars surface.

  • I have the answer to the problem. I don't exactly know how to design properly but I know how to make it work.

  • Launch willing subjects in cryogenic tubes with enough escape velocity to go somewhere.... for science! I'm talking maybe 50 subjects or so aimed at something within the scope of a desirable target, not just random space. I mean, worst case scenario all 50 subjects eventually collide with something or other, go on into infinity and the outer reaches of the galaxy, or destabilize and become space dust. Who knows? Maybe someone or something will discover them. 7 billion people on the earth. 50 subject's wouldn't be so bad. For science!

  • The perfect gene. You know, like the DNA of Leeloo in The Fifth Element. Who needs to launch 200+/- lbs + the weight of cryogenic fluid into space. How about a series of "Voyager" missions that contain the digital and fabricated genetic code for the entire human race? Worst case scenario, they get hit by asteroids. Best case scenario, someone on the receiving end manufactures our species. Worst case scenario, intergallactic artificial human trafficking. Best case scenario, we make new friends.

  • This is a response to the article “Elon Musk has an idea for saving boys stranded in a Thailand cave”. I’m a Mechanical engineer, retire from Boeing Company! If you could pass on the following it would be greatly appreciated. Mini Flexible Sub If the children were individually put into an enclosed cylindrical rubber tube large enough for them and small enough to get through the small cave openings that would eliminate the need for a novice using a scuba mouthpiece and all the complexities that go with Cave Diving. It would be propelled by a rope and guided by divers. If it needed to bend around corners it would have to be designed to be neutral pressurized so that it stayed limp. Now an air scrubber would be needed for oxygen. If it did not need to be limp then air could added/(bled out) from a SCUBA tank. The mini flexible sub could have a communication component. If a child couldn't handle the confinement then he could be given a strong anti-anxiety drug and wake up in mom's arms!

  • I don't believe the thickness of steel will exclude atmospheric pressure from the track. It certainly will colapse. Perhaps instead of traveling within a vacuum, leave the track partially pressurized, and use large turbines at each station to move the atmosphere within the track thus propelling the capsules. Just a theory, not sure if there would be positive gains at all, at any vacuum, given the length of pipeline and pressure loss due to friction.

  • I have an innovation that could solve the problem of batteries heating up. This same technology could be used to greatly reduce the heat and stacking issues with nano technology. If you are interested in this innovation please contact me. Thank you.

  • You don't need to create a vaccuum through out the whole tunnel. Compressed compartments like "air locks" or "Vaccuum looks" will do just fine. But another question came to mind today. I think we need to facilitate handicaped and old people using a permobile to access the nature here on earth. I saw an old lady sittning in here permobile just looking at a medow today. There were a path down to the ocean that she could not take. Constraint to the gravel path layed out. We need to make permobiles more like JEEPs or SUVs. So that Everbody can enjoy Nature on our planet.

  • I've not to say anything here, I've sent the Ideas to Musk on e-mail... please refer to there. Those ideas are something to be kept Personal.

  • I have an idea for the recovery of the falcon 9 fairing. Instead of the recovery ship and net would it be possible to let the fairing splash down and upon splash down have a sensor then deploy a flotation device? I'm sure the fairing weighs a great deal, and I bet someone already looked I to it, but you never know. Best of luck Cs

  • I would think a submersible tube constructed out of silicone then covered in the material in the video below, would be much more practical than a rigid tube with no give, for cave rescue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h9csbLfcwA

  • Elon, I have a revolutionary concept involving lithium battery technology. Would like to have a technology partner to develop. Please advise how I can present my plan? Regards, Steve Germano 201 450 7740

  • I have a really interesting idea which could change the way we view money/currency keys and much more can't reveal everything on public I wish to drop my idea privately if possible

  • Tesla cars and hyper loop are cool but you should move into high gear and create a new form of transportation: how about making this famous star wars vehicule a reality?? check it out the ''sith speeder'' http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:Sith_Speeder_Tatooine.png. this will be a instant success. I suggest drone propellers or jet engine.

Leave a Reply

Recommended Articles

Elon Musk and SpaceX Want Your ideas

Innovation Cloud 18.06.2015
Elon Musk and SpaceX Want Your ideas

If you have a good idea how to create or design pods that can carry people through the tube at the speed of 200 mph, you might get the...

Read more

Don’t have innovation strategy for 2018? Answer these 8 questions and create one for yourself.

Innovation Cloud 27.12.2017
Don’t have innovation strategy for 2018? Answer these 8 questions and create one for yourself.

How can an organization make its innovation strategy more approachable by providing guidelines that are simple and flexible enough to...

Read more

Hyperloop is Real - Check the new video

Innovation Cloud 17.09.2015
Hyperloop is Real - Check the new video

Hyperloop Technologies released a new trailer video stating that Hyperloop, futuristic way of transportation, is real and coming...Check...

Read more