Hyperloop transportation isn’t science fiction | ParkRecord.com

Hyperloop transportation isn’t science fiction

Bibop Gresta will be the next featured speaker for the Park City Institute's Strategic News Services Future in Review series. He will discuss the concept of Hyperloop transportation. (Courtesy of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)

Imagine large elevated tubes in which computer-automated capsules are jettisoned by vacuums and magnets at speeds up to 160 mph with passengers or 760 mph without passengers.

No, this isn’t science fiction. This is reality, according to Bibop Gresta of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation system conceived by entrepreneur Elon Musk , CEO and CTO of SpaceX , CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors , and chairman of SolarCity as well as co-chairman of OpenAI .

The system incorporates low-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on a cushion of air and propelled by linear-induction motors and compressors.

Gresta will expand and explain the Hyperloop on Friday at the Eccles Center Black Box Theater during the Park City Institute’s Strategic News Services Future in Review Speakers Series.

Gresta, an expert in digital media, cross-platform technologies, transportation and finance, said the seeds of the Hyperloop concept were sewn as early as 1870, when entrepreneur and inventor Ely Beach imagined a way of traveling in tubes using an vacuum.

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"He thought about putting a train inside a tube and, in actuality, the first tracks were laid down and became the New York underground," Gresta told The Park Record. "A lot of people don’t know that, but there are still traces of the first track that ran for almost a mile."

The idea morphed in 1904 when Robert Goddard, known to many as the master of rocketry in America, came up with an idea that was similar to the Hyperloop, Gresta said.

"The story goes on and on until 1969, when the American government disclosed four new transportation systems in Popular Science," he said. "Two of them, called Tube Flight and Gravity Vacuum, were similar to what we are doing right now."

However, Musk’s solution is 10 times cheaper and four times faster.

"Not only will it be faster, but it will also be the most efficient system built because we will exploit renewable and clean energy by the use of solar panels on top of the structure," Gresta said. "The entire system will be elevated, so the carbon footprint will be minimal."

elevating the system, Hyperloop can resist earthquakes and have a minimal impact on the ground because the supporting pylons will be set up every 200 feet.

"That way, landowners won’t lose access to their land," Gresta said.

In addition, Hyperloop will use wind and kinetic energy because the movement of the capsule will generate electricity.

"In climates where solar panels aren’t efficient, we will use geothermal energy," Gresta said. "So, the sum of this energy production will be positive."

Hyperloop is privately funded and the project is recruiting engineers who are interested in donating at least 10 hours a week in exchange for stock options.

Applications are being accepted through hyperlooptransp.com.

Gresta is the second of four speakers that have been scheduled for the Friday-night lecture series, according to Sharon Anderson Morris, director of Strategic News Services programs and Future in Review events.

The first of the 2015-16 season was Strategic News Services founder and CEO Mark Anderson.

The other two are Christopher Clark on Feb. 5, and Dr. Leah Boyer on March 25.

"We address issues such as environmental health, ocean health, healthcare and the newest trends of technology that lead world change – brain-expanding ideas that are happening with technology," said Anderson Morris.

The idea for the speaker series emerged from their annual conference.

"Mark and I put together the Future in Review conference, which The Economist calls it ‘The best technology conference in the world,’" Anderson Morris said. "These conferences address global challenges and creates solutions through technology."

"The speaker series started three years ago after I moved to Park City," Anderson Morris said. "I had seen some fantastic speakers from the University of Utah and some local tech people who were interesting, but in my world of global technology leaders who were changing the world, I didn’t see any of them here and was hungry for them.

"Through our Future in Review network, I have the contacts and Teri Orr has the Park City Institute Eccles Center," Anderson Morris said. "So, we felt we could give the people what they deserve, which is the highest level of speakers on any given topic that is relevant in the world."

The Park City Institute and the Strategic News Service will present Bibop Gresta at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts Black Box Theater, 1750 Kearns Blvd., on Friday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.ecclescenter.org.