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Elon Musk sends a mini submarine to help with Thailand cave rescue operation

The Thailand cave rescue mission, now over two weeks in, is gaining widespread attention around the world.

  • Published: July 9, 2018 5:06 PM IST

After the various hurdles in the cave rescue of a group of children in Thailand that includes the death of one of the rescuers, Elon Musk has now offered the services of a mini submarine which was built by SpaceX engineers, which is reportedly en route to Thailand to aid with the rescue operation. The submarine is said to be six feet long and can fit one person at a time.

The submarine is small and light enough to be carried by two divers, and can navigate through the narrow submerged areas in the cave, which is said to be the biggest challenge in rescuing the children trapped in the cave. The operation has currently been suspended after the death of a Thai military diver, and in order to restock supplies for the effort.

The matter is further complicated by a forecast of heavy rain, which could effectively doom the operation. Musk has also shared a video of the submarine being tested in a swimming pool, which as per another tweet by the founder of SpaceX, can also be used in future space missions.

On June 23, a group of 12 boys from a local football team in Northern Thailand went missing along with their 25-year-old coach, when they set out to explore a local cave. Heavy rain flooded the cave entrance after they entered it, trapping them inside.

A search and rescue operation was mounted soon after they were reported missing, and military divers have since rescued five of the boys. On July 6, one of the rescue divers died while placing air tanks along the route. The submarine will likely reach the rescue site soon, along with a team of engineers from SpaceX that will assist with the rescue.

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  • Published Date: July 9, 2018 5:06 PM IST