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Elon Musk’s giant tunnel boring machine arrived at SpaceX – first pictures

Update: Musk has since revealed his vision for The Boring Company in more details: Elon Musk unveils concept behind ‘The Boring Company’ featuring Tesla vehicles speeding through tunnels on mobile platforms

With the recent launch of Elon Musk’s latest company, Neuralink, we almost forgot that the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX also recently launched yet another startup: the Boring Company.

The company aims to make important advancements in the cost and speed of digging tunnels in order to solve transportation problems in cities. The startup recently took delivery of its first giant boring machine.

In February, Musk was looking at purchasing a used Herrenknecht boring machine: about 26 feet in diameter, about 400 feet long, and weighs 1,200 tons. The giant machine was in Washington.

It’s not clear if it’s the same machine that has just arrived at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, but it is certainly similar in size.

The boring machine arrived yesterday and is being positioned in SpaceX’s parking lot where they have already been digging a hole in the ground.

Here are a few pictures by employees and passersby (via Instagram: shockdiamondsschrodudeohshebossedup):

In a recent interview, Musk said that they plan to go down to about 50 feet into that hole in the parking lot before starting to dig horizontally in order not to disrupt any gas or sewage line. There, they will be able to experiment with new digging technologies build on the current boring machine.

It’s not clear where they plan to connect this tunnel first, but Musk describes this as the start of a ‘vast underground transportation network’ for cars and hyperloop. It’s quite impressive to think that in SpaceX’s backyard right now there’s an hyperloop test track, the first stage of a rocket booster that launched a satellite into orbit and came back, and now a giant boring machine.

Musk sees tunnels as a solution to traffic in urban areas and a way to bring transportation into the three-dimensional world – like buildings. He wants tens of tunnel levels underneath cities to compensate for people living and working in buildings tens of stories tall.

While the Boring Company is digging its first tunnel at SpaceX, Musk said that the company is not a subsidiary of Tesla or SpaceX, but its own independent company.

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