On Aug. 25-27, 2017, during the Hyperloop Competition Weekend II at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison students hopes it can clock the highest speed on the one-mile SpaceX Hyperloop test track.
The UW-Madison team, known as Badgerloop, has excelled in all phases of the competition, which is sponsored by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. After having participated in multiple phases of the Hyperloop competition, Badgerloop is among only a handful of teams to be invited to return to the track.
Badgerloop formed in 2015 after SpaceX announced the competition and has faced more than 100 teams from around the world throughout several stages of the Hyperloop competition—the aim of which is to encourage innovation and accelerate development of working Hyperloop prototypes.
In January 2016, Hyperloop earned third place in the concept phase of the competition; in January 2017, the students’ 15-foot-long, 2,100-pound Hyperloop pod received one of two innovation awards in recognition of its creativity and inventive design, as well as a virtual reality Hyperloop experience they developed.
Along with its innovation award, the team also earned a spot in this weekend’s competition, which includes approximately 25 teams from around the world. For this phase of the competition, which focuses only on speed, the team built an entirely new, lightweight pod.