WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Billionnaire Elon Musk built “a tiny, kid-size submarine using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of Falcon rocket as the hull.”
- Musk is sending the “submarine” to Thailand to help with the rescue of a soccer team of Thai youngsters who were trapped in a flooded cave since June 23.
- Eight of the 12 boys have already been rescued by scuba divers so the device may not be needed anymore.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, built a submarine-like device in a mission to help save the boys’ soccer team trapped in a Thai cave. On Sunday, Musk shared a video via Twitter, demonstrating how the “kid-sized submarine” can be used to transport a person across a pool.
The device was made using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of a Falcon rocket, designed and manufactured by SpaceX. The CEO said the aluminum shell of the vessel had “high thermal conductivity,” meaning it can provide insulation to the person inside the device.
The so-called submarine weighs 40 kilograms when not under water. Musk even wanted to add a compartment to accommodate a music player to ease the anxiety of the boys being rescued.
One of the rescue divers, a Thai Navy SEAL, died last week due to lack of oxygen after delivering air tanks for the boys.
Also on Sunday, four boys out of the 12 trapped are confirmed to have been rescued from the cave, CNBC reported. The rescue efforts were paused for 10 hours to replenish scuba tanks with oxygen.
Musk tweeted that it would take 17 hours to deliver the tiny submarine to Thailand.
“Hopefully, (it will be) useful,” he tweeted. “If not, perhaps it will be in a future situation.”
Musk sent a team of engineers from SpaceX and The Boring Company to Thailand on Saturday “to examine the situation and see if there was anything they could do to help.”
He also proposed to pump water through the cave for a safer exit and of inserting an inflatable nylon tube into the cave just “like a bouncy castle.”
As of this writing, four more boys were out of the cave, in addition to the first four boys who are now being treated at a hospital, bringing a total of 8 boys rescued.