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The company wants to launch satellites using a huge centrifugal slingshot

As impressive as watching a rocket launch into space, using fossil fuels and exploding to fulfill our dreams of space exploration, is ironically primitive. The company is called SpinLaunch thinks he has a better idea: he wants to launch small objects into space using a giant rotating centrifuge instead

There is a reason why space exploration has so far been limited to federal-funded government agencies or billionaire-backed companies desperate to change the way history remembers them. Using tried and tested methodologies for securing cargo to missiles is very costly, even though these launch systems can be reliably recovered, repaired and reused.

However, the alternatives to rocket launching have not met with much success. In the 1960s, the US Department of Defense and National Defense Canada formed a joint partnership called Project HARP (High Altitude Research Project) to develop giant ground-based weapons capable of blasting objects into space. HARP successfully fired a 180 km projectile into the atmosphere from a 16-inch cannon built at the US Army Research Laboratory at the Yuma Proving Ground, but by the late 1960s, both governments withdrew funding for this research project and it was officially closed. before it happened.

The SpinLaunch suborbital accelerator, which he uses for testing, is a one-third-scale version of the system he wants to build for commercial space launches, but still stands 165 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.  (A statue without a higher plinth.)

SpinLaunch takes a somewhat similar approach to Project HARP, but the Kinetic Space Launch System, which it has been developing since 2015, gets rid of explosives entirely. In its place is an electrically powered centrifuge that rotates objects inside a vacuum chamber at speeds of up to 5,000 miles per hour before they are released through a launch tube that is roughly the size of the Statue of Liberty. A successful test on October 22 at the company’s base at America’s Spaceport in New Mexico, a 10-foot projectile took off tens of thousands of feet, but that was while the centrifuge was running at about 20% of its full power.

Eventually, SpinLaunch plans to build a larger booster capable of launching objects such as satellites weighing up to 440 pounds. And by continuing testing over the next few years, the company hopes to offer its services to paying customers as early as 2024, but does not expect such an approach to drive space tourism. People can easily pass out when they experience an overload of up to 3, and they can survive around 9 g if the force is only enough for a split second. But the object, spinning at 5,000 miles per hour, is experiencing overloads in excess of 10,000, which means the SpinLaunch system is only suitable for satellites built on state-of-the-art electronics with rugged components that can withstand such extreme launch conditions.


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