in a bid to save the soccer team trapped in a northern thailand cave, elon musk has converted a falcon x rocket tube into a kid-sized submarine that he hopes could go some way retrieving the remaining young boys and their football coach. the spaceX CEO and founder revealed on twitter over the weekend that his team had designed a version of the rocket, using ‘the liquid oxygen transfer tube’, which could function as an escape pod for the group of thirteen who disappeared on june 23 after walking into the cave system and getting stuck after heavy rains caused flooding. 





elon musk tweeted that the tube would be ‘light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps’ and ‘extremely robust.’ he also tweeted a series of videos showing a team of divers testing the pod in the swimming pool at palisades charter high school.

elon musk attempts to aid thai cave rescue with spaceX 'kid-sized' submarine
images courtesy of @elonmusk



musk said that he expected the mini sub would arrive in thailand on monday evening, local time. it has since been reported that submarine has arrived on site but has proven impractical and not been used on the mission thus far. ‘even though their equipment is technologically sophisticated, it doesn’t fit with our mission to go in the cave,’ head of the rescue mission, narongsak osotthanakorn, said of the submarine whilst talking to to the BBC. ‘the equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission.’




since fans appealed to the multi-billionaire on twitter last week, calling on him to come up with a solution to help save the trapped group, he has also dispatched engineers from spaceX and his drilling company, the boring company. musk hopes the experts could assist thailand authorities in their plans to drill holes in the cave’s exterior, however these plans were quickly disregarded due to concerns over the possible impact.


on tuesday, four children and their 25-year-old soccer coach remain in the cave. the sub, which is dubbed wild boar after the soccer team’s name, remains on site and is ready for use when and if necessary. musk, who appears to be staying hopeful, said in another tweet, that the vessel will remain in thailand in case it’s needed in the future. ‘hopefully useful,’ he wrote. ‘if not, perhaps it will be in a future situation.’

UPDATE: it has been confirmed that an 11th boy has been rescued from the cave meaning only one remains and his football coach. musk’s kid-sized submarine remains unused.