On Saturday, Ilon Mask wrote to Twitter that the SpaceX engineers team “is completing work on a children's submarine”, which can be used to rescue 12 teenagers trapped in a Thai flooded cave. Mask engineers are working on solving the problem the last few days, and the CEO himself keeps his hand on the pulse. On Thursday evening, Mask suggested inflating a nylon pipe, on which children could leave. But by Friday afternoon the ideas went one after another. At first, Mask wrote that his people are working on “two-layer Kevlar beans with Teflon coating that can slip through the stones.” On Saturday, he added another idea: to create a tiny submarine of children's sizes, using a pipe to transfer liquid oxygen from the Falcon 9 as a hull. It will be light enough to accommodate two divers, and small enough to squeeze into the cave. “Very strong.”
Got more great feedback from Thailand. Primary path is basically a tiny, kid-size submarine using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of Falcon rocket as hull. Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps. Extremely robust.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018
And this is not just a theory: Mask says his team is already building a mechanism. “Construction will take about 8 hours, then in 17 hours it will reach Thailand.”
No response has been received from Thai officials, but the submarine can solve the deadly dilemma facing Thai rescuers. Most of the way from the cave is flooded and in places the cave becomes 70 cm in diameter. This narrow route is a big problem even for the most experienced cave divers: one of them has already died, sending oxygen bottles to boys earlier this week. Some guys do not know how to swim, and it's impossible to give them skills comparable to the skills of experienced divers.
Waiting too can not be an option. The oxygen level in the trap decreases. In addition, Thailand enters the rainy season. There is a danger that the water level will rise and drown the group.
A small submarine, described by Mask, will allow professional divers to transport the boys, who will simply lie peacefully inside. It will not be very convenient, but much less dangerous than if the boys will portray cave divers. Any panic will lead to death.
However, Mask continues to consider various ideas. It is not known what he will come to as a result, but we will observe.