A&M Will Host SpaceX Competition — But Track's Headed to California

Though the test track for a futuristic high-speed transportation system is headed to California, not Texas, the private space company SpaceX announced Monday that it's hosting a Hyperloop design-build competition at Texas A&M University.

SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks at a TxDOT transportation forum on Jan. 15, 2015.

Though the test track for a futuristic high-speed transportation system is headed to California, not Texas, the private space company SpaceX announced Monday that it's hosting a Hyperloop design-build competition at Texas A&M University.

SpaceX CEO and entrepreneur Elon Musk's Hyperloop concept involves transporting passengers via pods in above-ground tubes that move as fast as 800 miles per hour. Students will play a key part in the prototype development process; they're being encouraged to submit pod designs that will later be constructed and tested on the one-mile track in Hawthorne, Calif.

At a Texas Tribune event in January, Musk told Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith that Texas was a leading candidate to host the track; the company confirmed Monday that the track will instead be built in California.

The deadline for applicants to submit an intent to compete in the competition is Aug. 15. A design weekend will be held in January at Texas A&M, and the competition will be in June of next year.

During the design weekend, entrants will be evaluated by a panel composed of SpaceX and Tesla Motors engineers as well as Texas A&M professors. Companies will then be able to select teams to sponsor and fund construction of competition pods.

Disclosure: Tesla Motors and Texas A&M University are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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