The Hyperloop high-speed transportation system still sounds like complete fiction: Board this low-pressure vacuum tube and you'll get from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
But tech mogul Elon Musk's pipe dream is actually taking shape. One company is building a test version in the Nevada desert, and they've got the ginormous tubes to prove it.
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Musk is a busy guy, though, so it's not surprising that he issued an open-source design challenge, inviting ideas from around the world. Two companies took him up on it: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and the similar-sounding but entirely different Hyperloop Technologies.
Hyperloop Technologies, led by former Cisco executive Rob Lloyd, is currently constructing a test track in the Nevada desert that features a series of huge pipes. Each "big tube" made from carbon steel is 50 feet long, and 12 feet in diameter, and weighs approximately 70,000 lbs, according to the company.
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