The principle is what lies behind the shot put, only the weight is represented in this case by a satellite that is fired into the air at 8,000 km / h (yes, eight thousand). The peculiarities of the suborbital accelerator of SpinLaunch culminated last October in the first public test (carried out in Spaceport America, New Mexico, at 1,600 km / h), which went well enough to arouse the interest of the NASA. So the space agency signed a contract with SpinLaunch for a test useful to evaluate the opportunity of future launches.
Seen from a distance the SpinLaunch launcher is quite similar to a yo-yo with a fireplace, but the closer you get the more you realize that the kinship is distant in the light of the about 90 meters in diameter. Inside the steel scroll there is a chamber in which a vacuum is made to minimize friction and therefore maximize the speed of the carbon fiber arm, to which a launch vehicle with a satellite could soon be anchored in the space through the “fireplace”.
The main advantage deriving from SpinLaunch’s suborbital accelerator is the cost reduction: the use of centrifugal force allows in fact to scissor 70% of the fuel and the structures necessary for a traditional launch vehicle. The energy generated by the snail is sufficient to overcome the stratosphere, then the insertion and positioning in orbit takes place thanks to a small propulsive stage at low cost. NASA is interested, and will test it by the end of the year; not to return to the moon, in short, but as an economic solution for “routine” operations.
SpinLaunch offers a unique suborbital launch system, and the recent agreement with NASA marks a key turning point as SpinLaunch shifts the focus from technological development to commercial offerings – said Jonathan Yaney, founder and CEO of SpinLaunch. What began as an innovative idea to make the space more accessible has resulted in a technically mature and revolutionary approach to launch. We look forward to announcing more partners and customers soon and greatly appreciate NASA’s continued interest and support for SpinLaunch.