Students at Sacramento State are among 24 finalists for the national SpaceX competition, encouraging the best designs for high-speed ground transportation.
In 2013, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced his concept for the Hyperloop, encouraging student teams to pursue their best designs.
The Sac State team, “Hornet Hyperloop,” has been working on their design for two years and is among the 2017 finalists. Princeton University, Virginia Tech and the Technical University at Munich, made the cut as well, according to the SpaceX website.
Team Hornet Hyperloop said its design would limit travel time from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes, or from Paris to London in 15 minutes, breaking the sound barrier.
Lorenzo Smith, dean of engineering and computer science at Sac State, advises the team, along with three other faculty members.
“Their position as a finalist in this competition is simply a manifestation of the preparation they receive at Sacramento State. So, this comes as no surprise to me. I am very proud of our Hyperloop team,” Smith said in an email Tuesday.
Paul Orozco, president of the Hornet team, is “ecstatic” that the 56-member team has advanced.
“We haven’t been getting a lot of sleep, but that means that we have made it this far,” Orozco said.
The next steps are physically building the high-speed pod, ensuring it fits the guidelines provided by SpaceX, Orozco said. After that, the team will test the pod at the SpaceX track in Hawthorne. The Hyperloop team needs about $60,000 to finish the project. A website has been set up for donations.
“If they have the funding they need, I would not be surprised if our Hyperloop team wins it all,” Smith said.
Jessica Hice: 916-321-1550, @Jess_Hice