MUN engineering students ‘pretty excited’ after making hyperloop history – Newfoundland & Labrador

A group of engineering students from Newfoundland and Labrador made history on Sunday, and may have made a breakthrough in new technology that could change the way we travel.

The Paradigm Hyperloop team launched the world’s first successful run of a hyperloop pod using air-bearing technology. In the process, they placed second in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition, competing against teams from all over the world.

“Three years ago, I don’t think I ever thought we would actually build a pod that was going to be internationally recognized, weigh 2,000 pounds, be 18 feet long and float on an air cushion down a vacuum tube,” said Adam Keating, team lead for Paradigm Hyperloop.

“I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone in the car is pretty excited about this,” he told the St. John’s Morning Show as he and a number of his teammates drove to San Francisco from the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.

A hyper-what?

A hyperloop travel system consists of a pod travelling through a steel vaccum tube. The pod travels through the tube on a thin bed of air, much like a puck on an air hockey table. Because there’s little friction, the pod would be able to travel at speeds impossible for a car or even a train to reach.

A fully realized hyperloop transportation system would take someone from St. John’s to Corner Brook in 30 minutes.

The idea was dreamed up by tech billionaire Elon Musk, whose company SpaceX organized an annual competition for university students to advance the technology and help make the dream a reality.

Elon Musk is the person behind the Hyperloop idea and SpaceX, the company hosting the hyperloop competitions. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Some of the Paradigm team — 15 students from Memorial University, one student from College of the North Atlantic and 14 students from Northeastern University in Boston — were part of the first competition in 2016, and ran a pod called Open Loop.

They finished in the top 10, but they were determined to do better. They went home, they reorganized, and they spent the last eight months building the revolutionary Paradigm Hyperloop pod.

And yes, they met Elon Musk.

Only North American team in Top 3

The Paradigm pod uses air bearings rather than magnets to shoot down the SpaceX…

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