Elon Musk’s ‘kid-size submarine’ is headed to Thailand for cave rescue

LOS ANGELES — SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said earlier this week that he’d love to help the effort to rescue a soccer team of young boys trapped in a cave in northern Thailand — and now his contribution is on the way.

Musk tweeted Sunday that a “kid-size submarine” meant to help the boys navigate narrow, flooded passageways on their way to safety is on the 17-hour trip to Thailand from Los Angeles. The delivery announcement comes on the second day of an operation to remove the boys. Sunday, rescuers successfully navigated the first batch of four boys through the perilous escape route.

Videos showed Musk’s team testing the metallic pod in an LA-area high school swimming pool.

Responding to a question on Twitter, the entrepreneur and engineering mastermind said “divers who have made the passage,” believe the pod is small enough to fit through the most narrow portions of the cave. “We also made an exact replica that is inflatable, so that the entire path can be tested without risk of blockage,” he added.

“Hopefully useful,” said Musk. “If not, perhaps it will be in a future situation.”

Thai officials said the rescue effort, which began Saturday night, will take multiple days. Eight players remain in the cave with their 25-year-old coach.