SpinLaunch Uses Kinetic Energy to Propel Vehicle at Supersonic Speeds for the First Time

SpinLaunch tests for the first time its kinetic space launch system 6 photos
Photo: Spaceport America via Youtube
SpinLaunch tests kinetic space launch system for the first timeSpinLaunch Suborbital AcceleratorSpinLaunch Suborbital AcceleratorSpinLaunch Suborbital AcceleratorSpinLaunch tests kinetic space launch system for the first time
It took SpinLaunch several years to build a system that uses a revolutionary method to launch small satellites in virtually any weather. Now, the company is getting closer to its first customer launches as it announced that it successfully tested what it calls "the world's first kinetic space launch system."
Carrying fuel on traditional rockets is expensive, and it also weighs down the vehicles. So California-based SpinLaunch has created a new way to reach space at a significantly lower cost: using a kinetic launch system, which doesn't require the spacecraft to carry any fuel with them.

The company calls it a Suborbital Accelerator and it works by using a rotational accelerator encased in a round vacuum chamber taller than the Statue of Liberty that accelerates the launch vehicle up to 5,000 mph (8,047 kph).

The spacecraft then exits through a launch tube and it's propelled through the atmosphere into its designated orbit. The accelerator's electric drive provides a velocity boost that reduces the amount of fuel required to reach orbit by up to four times while costing ten times less than a traditional rocket system.

Not only that, but the Suborbital Accelerator is also capable of launching various vehicles multiple times a day. Furthermore, kinetically launched satellites leave the atmosphere without the need for a rocket. Thus, SpinLaunch allows satellite constellations and payloads to be launched with zero emissions into space.

On October 22nd, the company marked a significant milestone in the development of its Suborbital Accelerator. The company successfully propelled a test vehicle at supersonic speeds from Spaceport America, New Mexico, and recovered it after the test for reuse, validating its technology.

SpinLaunch says that it will continue to test its system throughout 2022, using different vehicles and launch velocities. The first customer launches are scheduled for late 2024.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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