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CU Denver Students Designing 'Hyperloop' Pod That Will Travel Faster Than A Bullet Train

Editor's Note: This story was originally posted on Sept. 23. It's being featured again because the funding campaign ends Friday and the group is within $1,000 of their goal.

DENVER (CBS4) - Think less light rail and more airplane. That's the idea behind Hyperloop, proposed by Elon Musk of SpaceX, as a low-pressure tube designed to move people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes.

"This thing is going to be like a bullet train but even faster," University of Colorado Denver senior engineering student Ben Cooper said.

Cooper and seven other seniors are working on creating a pod for the Hyperloop as their senior project.

Project Hyperloop1
(credit: CBS)

"Ours is definitely the most talked about in the engineering school," senior Candler Lacy added. "We always wanted to work on something that would be world-changing."

They are competing against dozens of other schools and even private companies to make a prototype for SpaceX.

"We use basically magnetic force to launch the pod inside the low pressure tube," Cooper said.

Project Hyperloop
(credit: CBS)

The challenge for the students is to make their pod the fastest and the safest.

"We are going to design something that does not rely on external power sources or pressure to be safe," Cooper added.

Aptly called Team Hyperlinx, the group is made up of mechanical engineering seniors Connor Catteral, Ben Cooper, Nicole Garcia, George Kemp, Chandler Lacy, John Spinelli, Mark Urban and Susan Waruinge.

(credit: CBS)

The team has some funding, but has started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a $40,000 budget for parts and is looking for donations from the public.

"We are trying to represent Denver, and make our school proud," Cooper said.

Team Hyperlinx must hit different deadlines over the next year, but the competition will be held at SpaceX in June of 2016.

LINK: Project Hyperloop's Kickstarter Page

Mark Taylor is a weekend morning anchor and reporter with CBS4 news covering a wide variety of stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkTaylor_TV.

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