elon musk the boring company tunneling machine

Screengrab via Cameron Byers/Twitter

SpaceX employee leaks first image of Musk’s mysterious boring machine

A company built out of road rage.


Phillip Tracy


Published Apr 28, 2017   Updated May 24, 2021, 4:11 pm CDT

Fueled by road rage and introduced through an ambiguous tweetstorm, we now have proof that Elon Musk’s the Boring Company is much more than a silly joke from the mind of one of the world’s most idolized entrepreneurs.

First spotted by Business Insider, an Instagram photo posted Thursday by a SpaceX engineer shows the company’s first tunnel boring machine. The post has since been deleted, but the internet was never going to let go of the evidence.

Here’s our first look at the machinery:

Musk plans to widen an initial hole already dug in the parking lot of the SpaceX campus (where he won’t run into legal issues). The boring machine will then dig horizontally once it reaches 50 feet below the ground, or low enough to clear gas and sewer lines, until it reaches SpaceX’s property line. At that point, Musk will need to secure permits from the city to continue.

The business magnate told Bloomberg he hopes to build a tunneling machine fast enough to dig thousands of miles, creating an underground network that could include as many 30 levels of tunnels for cars and high-speed trains. While Musk digs, others are looking to the skies for solutions to our aging infrastructure. But despite his affinity for flight, Musk is not impressed. “Obviously, I like flying things. But it’s difficult to imagine the flying car becoming a scalable solution.”

Musk first hinted at the idea of building a tunneling company in December, when a calculated tweetstorm left many people (and journalists) confused.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have doubted him.

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*First Published: Apr 28, 2017, 10:27 am CDT