Elon Musk has announced that he will be sending engineers from both SpaceX and The Boring Company to Thailand tomorrow to try and help rescue the Wild Boar soccer team that remains trapped inside a flooded cave.
As The Hill report, Navy SEALS from Thailand have been trying their utmost to help 12 members of a soccer team and their coach escape from the confines of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex, where the group has remained since they were discovered last Saturday after having gone missing for the previous 10 days, with the team having disappeared on June 23. While the weather was initially fine upon entering the cave, the tunnels quickly became flooded after heavy rains.
On the 4th of July, Musk tweeted his concerns about attempting a rescue mission but noted that The Boring Company are quite adept when it comes to digging holes.
“Boring Co has advanced ground penetrating radar & is pretty good at digging holes. Don’t know if pump rate is limited by electric power or pumps are too small. If so, could dropship fully charged Powerpacks and pumps.”
The situation in Thailand is fraught with danger, and 38-year-old diver Saman Kunan has died while attempting to briskly maneuver oxygen tanks underground. With torrential rains expected on Saturday, the government in Thailand announced that Elon Musk would be sending in engineers to try and remedy the situation.
“Elon Musk will send his team to Thailand tomorrow to help in cave rescue. He may provide services for location tracking, water pumping or battery power.”
Musk commented that he believes the first bit of water could probably be pumped out, while engineers would use air pumps, tubes and battery packs for the second and third rounds of water.
He also suggested that it could be “worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes like the 70cm hole.”
“Looks like 1st bit of water is close enough to entrance to be pumped out. 2nd & 3rd would need battery packs, air pumps & tubes. If depth of 2nd is accurate, would need ~0.5 bar tube pressure. Prob need to enter tube, zip up & then transit.”
Elon then went on to compare the physics of the operation to that of inflatable mazes and bouncy castles to explain how engineers would be tackling the rescue mission in Thailand, explaining that the workers will be able to address the situation better once they have arrived at the cave complex as “there are probably many complexities that are hard to appreciate without being there in person.”
So long as air feed rate exceeds leak rate, tube remains inflated. This is how bouncy castles or inflatable mazes work. Needs very little power as the work (physics def of work) done is low. Pumping out water faster than it enters the cave system is prob 10X to 1000X more power.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
With so much at stake, Elon Musk’s team of SpaceX and Boring Company engineers appear to be the most well-suited individuals to tackle and remedy the situation of the flooded cave in Thailand, and it is hoped that the rescue mission will be successful.