UW-Madison’s Badgerloop group unveils new hyperloop pod design

MADISON (WKOW) — It may look like a thing of the future, but one day, it could be how we get around. It’s called the hyperloop: a pod traveling through tubes at hundreds of miles per hour. A group of UW-Madison students are trying to make it all happen. The student organization known as Badgerloop …

MADISON (WKOW) — It may look like a thing of the future, but one day, it could be how we get around.

It’s called the hyperloop: a pod traveling through tubes at hundreds of miles per hour. A group of UW-Madison students are trying to make it all happen.

The student organization known as Badgerloop unveiled their pod design Thursday night.

They’re competing in SpaceX’s hyperloop competition. This July, Badgerloop will be one of 11 U.S. teams to take their pod to SpaceX’s headquarters in California.

“The idea is to be a real transportation system, although for Badgerloop, we’re really just hoping to have a completed pod and go very very fast in the tube and hopefully be recognized for it,” said Kali Kinziger, Badgerloop’s president.

The team designed other pods that competed in previous competitions. This is the third pod, which is a bit different from the others, according to the team.

Kinziger says the team puts in 20 to 40 hours a week on the pod.

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SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Receiving Somewhat Favorable Press Coverage, AlphaOne Reports

News stories about SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) have trended somewhat positive recently, AlphaOne reports. The research group, a service of Accern, identifies positive and negative press coverage by reviewing more than twenty million news and blog sources in real-time. AlphaOne ranks …

News stories about SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) have trended somewhat positive recently, AlphaOne reports. The research group, a service of Accern, identifies positive and negative press coverage by reviewing more than twenty million news and blog sources in real-time. AlphaOne ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. SolarCity Corp earned a news impact score of 0.09 on AlphaOne’s scale. AlphaOne also assigned headlines about the renewable energy company an impact score of 83 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is very likely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

These are some of the news headlines that may have impacted Alpha One Sentiment Analysis’s analysis:

SolarCity Corp Company Profile

SolarCity Corporation is a United States-based solar provider. The Company is primarily engaged in the design, manufacture, installation and sale or lease of solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, or sale of electricity generated by solar energy systems to customers. It operates through solar energy products and services segment.

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Elon Musk: Leave meetings or get off the phone if not productive

Elon Musk: Leave meetings or get off the phone if not productive. Elon Musk is trying to increase productivity at Tesla by Musk tells employees, “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their …

Elon Musk: Leave meetings or get off the phone if not productive

Elon Musk is trying to increase productivity at Tesla by Musk tells employees, “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”

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Elon Musk’s Week from Hell Keeps Getting Worse

If he tires of the “hell” that is the “car biz,” Elon Musk may find a second act as a magician. Despite the minor catastrophes that have befallen his companies—a disappearing government satellite launched from a SpaceX rocket, an explosion or two, and a recent deadly crash of a Tesla Model X—the …

If he tires of the “hell” that is the “car biz,” Elon Musk may find a second act as a magician. Despite the minor catastrophes that have befallen his companies—a disappearing government satellite launched from a SpaceX rocket, an explosion or two, and a recent deadly crash of a Tesla Model X—the gregarious C.E.O. has managed to keep audiences (and investors) enthralled by his cinematic stunts, which this week included the launch of a NASA planet-hunting satellite. But Musk’s supernatural streak has hit a speed bump as damaging story after damaging story has emerged about his pet project and primary cash cow, Tesla, just as the company ramps up desperate efforts to produce enough Model 3’s to sate consumers—and, more crucially, investors.

Musk’s woes began on Monday, when the Center for Investigative Reporting published an exposé claiming that Tesla had misreported and concealed the severity of worker injuries at its Fremont factory. Reports from factory workers of “sprains, strains, and repetitive stress injuries” from assembling Tesla vehicles “never made it onto the official injury logs that state and federal law requires companies to keep,” reporters Will Evans and Alyssa Jeong Perrywrote. Instead, internal company records allegedly show these were listed as “personal medical issues” or “minor incidents” that didn’t merit serious medical attention. Musk’s own distaste for the color yellow, too many signs, and the beeping sound forklifts make in reverse also reportedly factored into conditions at the factory. “It’s just a matter of time before somebody gets killed,” said one former safety lead.

Tesla took to its own blog to categorically deny the allegations, calling the report an “ideologically motivated attack” and claiming the organization was “working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla.” (The Center pushed back, saying many of its sources weren’t involved in Tesla unionizing efforts.) But the damage was done: on Wednesday, Reuters reported that the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a state regulatory agency, had opened an investigation into Tesla for allegedly failing to disclose serious injuries.

Even before the probe, Tesla was struggling to execute its Model 3 rollout. Though the company had originally promised to build 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of 2017, it now says it will hit that mark by the end of June. But as of last month, it was assembling just 2,020 cars a week, which would bring it short of even the extended deadline; in a lengthy memo to staff on Tuesday, Musk told Tesla employees the company would soon switch to operating its assembly factory “24/7” and would push for 6,000 cars a week as the June deadline looms. The frantic pace reflects the immense pressure Tesla is under to reach production goals, with some analysts predicting that if it fails to do so, the company’s stock price could take a hit. In a note to investors this week, UBS analyst Colin Langan wrote that while he didn’t downgrade the stock or cut his price target on Tesla, he reiterated his sell rating. “Tesla was going to reinvent car manufacturing,” he wrote. “What happened?”

As the stakes mount, Musk is apparently coping with a return to Aristotelian philosophy—in his internal memo, he reportedly indicated that he’d seek to solve Tesla’s woes in part through a return to “first principles,” a common start-up mantra meaning that understanding a subject’s fundamental principles will bring about understanding of that subject. As such, Musk said, he would personally review all expenses above a $1 million. If a managers’ expenses exceeded that amount, Musk said, they must have “a detailed, first principles understanding of the supplier quote, including every line item of parts & labor, before we meet.” Whether the philosophy quiz will in fact be enough to get Tesla back on track, however, is another matter entirely.

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Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Use ‘Giant Party Balloon’ To Bring An Upper Stage Back

Elon Musk took to Twitter to make an announcement about a new method that SpaceX will use to save the upper stage of its Falcon 9 rocket. Musk announced that the company is considering the use of a giant party balloon. This isn’t the first time that Musk has made an outrageous claim that later turned …
Elon Musk says that SpaceX will be using a ‘giant party balloon’ to bring back the upper stage of the rocket back. SpaceX is known for being able to reuse parts of its rockets. ( Bill Ingalls | NASA via Getty Images )

Elon Musk took to Twitter to make an announcement about a new method that SpaceX will use to save the upper stage of its Falcon 9 rocket. Musk announced that the company is considering the use of a giant party balloon.

This isn’t the first time that Musk has made an outrageous claim that later turned out to be true.

Giant Party Balloon

Musk tweeted about the use of a giant party balloon on April 15. This is the first time that Musk or SpaceX has acknowledged that they may try to save the second stage of a rocket. SpaceX is known for having pioneered the retrieving and reusing of the first stage of its rockets.

Reusing parts of rockets has reduced the cost of sending the rockets into space. SpaceX does this by having the first stage reignite its engines to stabilize its descent–this lets it slow down enough so that it can land upright. The second stage of the rocket has been more difficult to capture.

The second stage travels much faster than the first stage. Falcon 9’s first stage travels up to 5,000 miles per hour before it returns to Earth. The second stage has to reach low Earth orbit so it travels at a speed of up to 17,000 miles per hour. This means that it will come back down to Earth much faster and at hotter temperatures than the first stage.

Falcon 9’s second stage is 27 times hotter than the first stage when it makes its descent. This temperature causes portions of the rocket to melt and causes it to break apart. Musk wants to slow down the rocket so that it won’t reach the blistering temperatures and break apart.

Reducing Heat

To prevent the second stage from melting, this would require the second stage to deploy a heat shield to prevent it from melting and breaking apart. It would be possible for SpaceX to deploy an inflatable balloon at the bottom of the second stage to reduce the concentration of the heat by expanding the surface area.

This balloon would also be able to slow down the second stage. Increasing its shape would allow greater air resistance when it’s coming down back to Earth. It makes it easier for the object to be caught up in the air.

This isn’t the first time that SpaceX has used an outlandish idea to be able to retreat part of the rocket. Previously, SpaceX was using a boat named Mr. Steven to retrieve the fairing from the rocket. The last time that it tried to estimate where the fairing would fall, the measurements were just only a few hundred yards off from being able to catch it.

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