Elon Musk

Elon Musk's Mini-Sub Was 'Not Practical' for Thailand Cave Rescue

Technology isn't always the solution.
Elon Musk's Mini-Sub Was 'Not Practical' for Thailand Cave Rescue
Image credit: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images via engadget
2 min read
This story originally appeared on Engadget

The Thai cave rescue is over, with all 12 boys and their coach safely above ground. Elon Musk's miniature submarine clearly arrived too late. However, it's now clear that it wouldn't have seen use regardless. In the last few hours of the operation, joint command center lead Narongsak Ostanakorn told Musk that his tech was "good and sophisticated," but that it was "not practical" for the rescue. While officials haven't provided detailed reasoning, a look at the logistics of the rescue might explain why.

Observers have noted that the escape path was not only far from straight, but included choke points (the narrowest was just under 15 inches high) and a rocky above-water segment. The sub (based on a Falcon 9 liquid oxygen transfer tube) would have been a tight fit, assuming it fit at all, and divers would have needed to lug it through the above-water section.

As for Musk? He left the mini-sub at the site in case it was "useful in the future" (this was before everyone had surfaced) and has since congratulated the rescuers. It's easy to imagine him feeling crestfallen, though. Whatever you think of the motivations behind the sub design, all the effort behind it didn't amount to much. The successful rescue is also a reminder that more technology isn't always the best solution -- sometimes human ability and resolve are enough.

 

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Elon Musk Takes Tesla One Toke Over the Line