Elon Musk Defends His Mini Submarine That Was ‘Impractical’ In Thai Cave Rescue
By Mikelle Leow, 11 Jul 2018
Image via Phil Stafford / Shutterstock.com
The world has finally let out a sigh of relief after all 12 boys and their coach from the ‘Wild Boars’ soccer team were rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand.
To aid the operations, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and his team of engineers had developed a child-sized submarine to transport the stranded individuals through the cave’s narrow passageways.
The concept and efforts, though widely applauded, had also drawn critique. According to the BBC, former Chiang Rai official Narongsak Osatanakorn, who coordinated the rescue operation, had described the vessel as “not practical for [the] mission.”
The SpaceX CEO has since shared his email correspondence with British diver and rescue team co-leader Richard Stanton, who encouraged him to build the smaller submarine.
“The former Thai provincial governor (described inaccurately as ‘rescue chief’) is not the subject matter expert,” Musk tweeted. “That would be [Richard] Dick Stanton, who co-led the dive rescue team.”
In the emails, Musk assured Stanton that “one of the world’s best engineering teams” who usually designs spacecraft and spacesuits were “working on this thing 24 hours a day.” He also said that the engineers were trying to perfect the vehicle “in a very short period of time.”
Stanton replied that Musk’s plans were “absolutely worth” pursuing, and that the submarine might be used if the rain persisted.
Stanton added, “We’re worried about the smallest lad [so] please keep working on the capsule details.”
On Tuesday, the Thai Navy Seal finally announced that the entire team had been rescued. Musk tweeted a congratulatory note, saying, “Great news that they made it out safely. Congratulations to an outstanding rescue team!”
While the mini submarine was not used in this rescue mission, Musk said it could be useful in future operations.
The former Thai provincial governor (described inaccurately as “rescue chief”) is not the subject matter expert. That would be Dick Stanton, who co-led the dive rescue team. This is our direct correspondence: pic.twitter.com/dmC9l3jiZR— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
Great news that they made it out safely. Congratulations to an outstanding rescue team!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
The team did extremely well!— EIon Musk (@eIonlrmusk) July 10, 2018
Sub will be useful future operations!!
[via Business Insider, cover image via Phil Stafford / Shutterstock.com]
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