SpinLaunch scores NASA test mission to demonstrate its unique launch method – MovieUpdates

SpinLaunch aims to change the way we get into orbit by shooting payloads at 5,000 MPH into the air, and now it has a shiny new NASA contract to show off its capabilities later this year. .

We’ve been hearing about SpinLaunch for years, but until recently his idea of ​​putting mass into orbit by means of some sort of underground centrifuge was, say, only lightly substantiated.

It works by using a rotating arm in a large vacuum chamber, which spins faster and faster until the vehicle it’s holding is finally let out from an exit tube. A simple idea in some ways (essentially a giant pendulum), it’s obviously not that easy to engineer. But a low-altitude test launch late last year showed they could fire at least a 1,000 MPH charge and recover it.

The system is a work in progress, but the prospect of cutting the fuel and mass of even suborbital payloads by more than half is clearly alluring to NASA, which signed a Space Act agreement with SpinLaunch to test it out. .

Image of the size of the scheduled accelerator.

A test deployment is planned for later this year, when SpinLaunch will launch a NASA payload at supersonic speeds and recover shortly after. The two organizations will then examine the mission’s performance and evaluate its usefulness for future launches, and publish all non-confidential results online.

I’ve asked SpinLaunch for more details about the project and will update this post when I hear back.

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