Since 2015, more than 100 teams of students around the world have developed concepts for a vacuum capsule.
In 2018, the ETH team once again qualified for the final at the end of July at the SpaceX site in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, in the summer. It will probably be the last SpaceX competition. In addition to the ETH team, which includes members from other Swiss universities, there are 20 other teams from universities around the world.
‘Escher’ is followed by ‘Mujinga’
For this year's speed competition, the students have developed a completely new transport capsule.
The three and a half meter long white-blue pod is called ‘Mujinga’. The transport capsule is now driven by four electric motors. Together they deliver over 540 BHP, which is about two and a half times the power of a Bugatti sports car. Power is supplied by two batteries with a total of 700 volts and a capacity of more than 1,500 iPhone batteries.
The pressure accumulators are charged with a hand pump before the test run. The absolutely leak-free valves from Bucher Hydraulics ensure that the pressure is maintained during the entire period of operation. For braking, the valves open and apply pressure to the brake cylinders.