Extra-orbital space travel – only a handful of persons can ever say they’ve done that. A few more can lay claim to flying in sub-orbital aircraft at faster-than-sound speeds. So given the numbers that have a fascination with this sort of thing, the expectation is reasonable that if supersonic (or close to it) evacuated or vacuum tube travel is ever a thing, scores of riders will be lining up. And, why wouldn’t they?
Okay, so before all the excitement becomes too much to contain, it should first be understood that thus far, only two people have taken the plunge so to speak inside what could best be described as a track inside a pipe and at not much above 100 miles per hour at that. People have gotten enthused about this prospect for 100 years, at least – if not longer.
The fact that travel in this manner has even been done, well, there is definitely something to be said for this. But, hyperspeed overland travel, could still be a hundred years or more away, quite conceivably.
The sticking points are means of propulsion, braking and capsule or pod stability. There is also the matters to resolve of how to move multiple capsules or pods at a time through the sealed, air-tight tube and still be able to keep the necessary separation so as to avoid collisions.
And, then there’s the inside-the-capsule atmospheric conditions such as air conditioning and heating. How will these be provided for? And, then again, there are the potentially high G-forces to contend with, meaning, what kind of G-forces will those who will be riding be subjected to? Will they be of such magnitude that, in terms of the ride experience itself, will all of the presumed fun in it all of a sudden vaporize?
Patrons, presumably, will have to be content with foregoing an “out-the-window” view of the sights, scenery and/or greenery that is typically afforded travelers traveling by more conventional means. On a hyperspeed conveyance, meanwhile, unless it takes longer to get from origin to destination than what a full-length motion picture does from start to end, then that entertainment possibility is also out of the question.
Besides the speed aspect, ultra fast tube travel over travel by more conventional means, high-speed rail being one of these, as word has it, is also more efficient. The thinking here is that in moving in a sealed, air-less tube, the kind of friction factor so to speak that is associated with through-the-air movement, will be negligible or totally non-existent. This being the case, then the energy needed in moving the conveyances will be small. And, that being the situation, air pollution produced as a result of the power-generation process will likewise be light to none.
As to today’s concerns actively engaged in making hyperspeed tube travel a reality, they apparently are betting big. This method of overland and possibly through-the-water movement has definite potential, no question!
Now also add in the prospect of traveling and not having to deal with any of the atmospheric elements (inclement weather) and doing so without causing harm to the environment, it’s no wonder there is the kind of excitement that surrounds the hyperspeed tube-travel concept that there is.
This may one day even be mainstream! You just never know.
– Alan Kandel