Gene Roddenberry and the Jetsons Gave us the Hyperloop Long Before Elon Musk Hitched a Ride

Primary tabs

Gene Roddenberry and the Jetsons Gave us the Hyperloop Long Before Elon Musk Hitched a Ride

If you think Elon Musk's concept of traveling the Earth inside an airtight tube is new, you may want to watch some old TV.
tweet me:
The Jetsons, the #Hyperloop and Elon Musk. http://3bl.me/4yn8c7 #GBMcelestia via @MattPGBM

Multimedia from this Release

Roddenberry and the Hyperloop

Green Builder Media

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 8:30am

CAMPAIGN: The Celestia Project

CONTENT: Blog

In 1973, producer Gene Roddenberry was looking for another sci-fi concept that would outdo his Star Trek success. The pilot program, Genesis II, featured a "PAX subshuttle" (shown behind Roddenberry, first photo) that allowed the characters to zoom at tremendous speeds around the planet in a pod-like vessel inside a vacuum tube.And Roddenberry wasn't breaking new TV ground. George Jetson famously traveled by tube.

This is almost exactly the same concept put forward by entrepeneur Elon Musk (middle photo) recently. If you read the Wiki entry on the Hyperloop concept, you might mistakenly think that vacuum tube transport of this sort is a "flash of brilliance" idea that came out of nowhere.

But as George Basalla, late author of "The Evolution of Technology," once told me, this is almost never the case.

Musk has not "invented" the Hyperloop concept any more than Bill Gates "invented" the computer. But he has brought and old, exciting idea back into the public consciousness.

In fact, if you look at the vacuum-tube transport idea, it's been around since at least 1867, when Alfred Ely Beach constructed a mock-up of one for the American Institute Fair in New York City (bottom photo). And there were many other designs and prototypes of similar design in the early 1900s, including one by George Medhurst and other engineers.

Read more...

 

Keywords: Innovation & Technology | Elon Musk | Gene Roddenberry | George Medhurst | Green Builder Media | Hyperloop | Innovation & Technology | Matt Power | The Jetsons

CAMPAIGN: The Celestia Project

CONTENT: Blog