Musk to launch China tunneling company unit this month

Elon Musk plans to bring his tunneling unit for the famed ‘Hyperloop’ system to China. (Reuters)
Updated 03 August 2019

Musk to launch China tunneling company unit this month

  • Elon Musk formed the Boring Company to build underground transport tunnels for hyperloop transportation systems

BENGALURU: Elon Musk will soon launch a China unit for his underground tunneling enterprise, The Boring Company, the billionaire entrepreneur said on Twitter.

One of Musk’s followers tweeted that Tesla Inc’s chief executive officer would attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference of 2019 in Shanghai later this month.

Musk replied on the social media platform that he “will also be launching The Boring Company China on this trip.”

Musk started the Boring Company to build underground transport tunnels for hyperloop transportation systems, which he said would be far faster than current high-speed trains and use electromagnetic propulsion. 

It has also emerged that Musk plans to expand his SpaceX facilities in Florida to make room for the space company’s forthcoming super heavy-lift launch vehicle dubbed Starship, according to a draft of the plans seen by Reuters on Friday.

Starship, a 384-foot (117-meter) reusable two-stage rocket taller than the Statue of Liberty, is a central piece of Musk’s interplanetary space travel ambitions as well as US space agency NASA’s goal to send humans to the moon again by 2024.

The Starship rocket is expected to launch up to 24 times a year from SpaceX’s current flagship launchpad 39A, the draft of the company’s environmental assessment said. SpaceX did not specify in the report when it would reach that cadence, but Musk said in September 2018 he wanted to be conducting orbital flights with Starship in two to three years.

SpaceX’s launchpad 39A would support NASA’s future moon missions from the same Kennedy Space Center site used for the Apollo lunar missions a half century ago.

“They’re moving very fast,” said Dale Ketcham, vice president of government relations at Space Florida, the state’s commercial space development agency. “This is actually getting closer to what Elon got into this business for to begin with. This is fundamental infrastructure to get to Mars, the early stages of it.”

UK ‘to decide on Huawei 5G next week’

Tensions have been rising between the UK and US over Huawei. (AFP)
Updated 49 min 15 sec ago

UK ‘to decide on Huawei 5G next week’

  • Chinese tech giant expected to be permitted to develop country’s 5G network

LONDON: The UK is expected to announce next week whether to allow China’s Huawei to develop its 5G network, an official said on Friday, setting out reasons for agreeing despite opposition from the White House.

The official said the decision had not yet been taken but that it was likely to be next week.
There had been speculation that the UK would allow Huawei into “non-core” elements of the next-generation 5G mobile networks, such as antennae and base stations attached to masts and roofs.
The US has banned Huawei from the rollout of its 5G network because of concerns — strongly denied — that the firm could be under the control of Beijing.
Washington has been lobbying London to do the same, even threatening to limit intelligence sharing between the two allies if Downing Street goes its own way.
The UK Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said this week that a decision would be made “soon,” adding that many factors were being considered.
These included “the availability of other providers” and “the work that Huawei has already done in the UK,” she said.
The senior official said that London — unlike Washington — had been using Huawei technology across national systems for the past 15 years.
Security agencies believe they have managed the risk so far and will be able to do so with the 5G network, the official said.
Banning Huawei entirely could also cost “billions” of pounds and delay the rollout of 5G and full-fiber broadband, the official said.
There is also a problem in that few other firms have the technology that Huawei does.
The company provides the least expensive and most advanced alternative for super-fast data transfers behind technologies such as self-driving cars and remotely operated factory robots.
“There is a market failure here,” the official said, adding that while this could be addressed in the future, for now “we are where we are.”
The UK’s debate about Huawei has dragged on for more than a year, amid intense political turmoil over its exit from the EU.
Brexit day is now set for Jan. 31.