Initial elation at finding 12 boys and their soccer coach in a Thai cave has since turned to concern at not being able to immediately extract them, and sadness after a diver bringing supplies died during his exit.
Now, per the BBC, renewed hope joins those emotions after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stepped forward to offer the services of yet another one of his businesses, the Boring Company.
“Boring Co has advanced ground penetrating radar & is pretty good at digging holes,” Musk tweeted Thursday, adding another option was for his group to “dropship fully charged Powerpacks and pumps.”
The idea of Musk lending his assistance appears to have been sparked Tuesday by a Twitter user who asked if Musk would lend a hand, to which Musk mused, “I suspect that the Thai govt has this under control, but I’m happy to help if there is a way to do so.”
As Musk continued to think out loud on the matter on Twitter over the next few days, other ideas he came up with included creating an air tunnel of sorts under the network of caves where the 13 are stranded: “Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle.”
Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes like the 70cm hole.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
He estimated a 3-mile walk at a brisk pace through this inflated network “would take 40 [minutes] or so.”
CNN reports Musk noted early Friday he was sending SpaceX and Boring Co. engineers over to Thailand to assess things in person, an assertion backed up by the Thai government. “Elon Musk will send his team to Thailand tomorrow (7July) to Help in Cave Rescue,” read a post on the government’s Facebook page. “He may provide services for location tracking, water pumping or battery power.”