Musk sent SpaceX and Boring Company engineers to Thailand so they could help come up with a plan to get 12 kids and their coach out of a flooded cave, and later joined the team at the cave himself. Although the plan they came up with to float the kids out in a submarine turned out to be impractical for the challenge, Musk left the capsule at the cave site, “in case it may be useful in the future.”
The submarine was made from the transfer tube of SpaceX’s Falcon rocket, and Musk says there are other possible uses for it going forward, such as rescuing people from toxic environments or as an escape pod in space. He took umbrage at the idea that the rescuers dismissed the utility of the vehicle.
Musk’s submarine had been tested at a pool near SpaceX’s southern California headquarters.
However, by the time it was finished, the first of the boys trapped in the cave had already been rescued.
Last year, Musk sent Tesla batteries to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which left the island without power.