Virgin: After taking owner Richard Branson on the first tourist space flight last month, Galactic Virgo seems to focus on new challenges, but on dry land, or not so much.
In an explanatory video posted to YouTube on Monday (23), the company’s transportation technology division unveils its hyperloop concept, a freight train project originally launched by Tesla and SpaceX in 2013.
Hyperloop is a mass transport system that uses magnetic rails inside sealed tubes at low pressure, so that, theoretically, small cars or capsules travel at high speed in an environment with low resistance to shock. air. The idea is to offer a cheap, economically correct solution with minimal energy costs. The concept resurfaced in 2013, when Elon Musk published a guide on the subject.
Musk’s goal, too of the virgin rival in aerospace tourism, was to build a hyperboucle between the US cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since then, several companies, without the billionaire’s participation, have organized themselves to make the project viable. So far, however, some have been unable to secure funding, while others have worked with government agencies to explore new routes.
What will Virgin’s hyperloop project look like?
Founded in 2014, Virgo Hyperloop made its first test trip last November with passengers in the desert of Nevada, United States, in fact two company executives, who completed the entire 500-meter track in 15 seconds, at a speed close to 172 km / h. After testing, the company revised some concepts and decided to change the look of future capsules.
First, Virgin Engineers have overturned the magnetic levitation train system (MagLev): the company’s capsules will not travel on the tracks, but will be suspended there. Additionally, each unit will be battery powered rather than hardwired. According to the company, this inversion of the capsules will represent 10 times more energy efficiency compared to the current model.
Another innovation designed by Virgo Hyperloop is the disconnection of the capsules from each other, so that even when traveling by caravan, some of them may be diverted to different destinations. The expected speed is 1.07 thousand km / h, which would allow a trip from Rio to São Paulo in 24 minutes, without any emissions during the trip.