UW students prepare to compete at SpaceX

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Engineer students at UW Madison are trying to change the way people travel. They are competing for the fourth year in the Space-X Hyperloop competition. It is a competition that invites innovators and universities across the world interested in high-speed transportation technology and solutions to have a chance at making history.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Inc., Photo Date: April 8, 2016 / Photo: NASA / Kim Shiflett / MGN

"Technology like this doesn't exist. It was first hypothesized in 2013 by Elon Musk," Badger Loop spokesperson, Kevin Chukel said.

The undergraduate students crafted a pod that can travel up to 100 - 200 miles an hour in less than one mile underground in a tube. The students believe this pod could be their fastest.

"It is a lot smaller than our previous pods," Chukel said.

The team raises their own donations and sponsorships for the project. They have a large list of supports that helped them raise around $70,000 for the pod and an additional $10,000 in software licenses.

"There are more than a hundred people that compete for this competition. Our Europe competitors are often graduate students taking time off to create pods, or they are funded by their government," Chukel said.

The process is long and grueling on the UW students who are juggling undergraduate classes and jobs. They are very eager to leave soon for the competition.