. 24/7 Space News .
SpinLaunch conducts first successful test of giant 'suborbital accelerator' satellite sling
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Nov 15, 2021

File image of the SpinLaunch system.

In a development reminiscent of classic science fiction, a California-based startup has performed its first test of a device for launching satellites into space by accelerating them to fantastic speeds instead of loading them atop a rocket engine.

The company announced its successful October 22 test on CNBC on Tuesday, with CEO Jonathan Yaney saying the projectile reached an altitude of "tens of thousands of feet."

"It's a radically different way to accelerate projectiles and launch vehicles to hypersonic speeds using a ground-based system," Yaney explained. "This is about building a company and a space launch system that is going to enter into the commercial markets with a very high cadence and launch at the lowest cost in the industry."

A video of the test was posted on the company's website, and CNBC released a copy on social media, as well.

The device works on the same principle as a sling: placed in a vacuum chamber on a rotating arm that's accelerated by a small rocket to hypersonic speed, it lets go of the payload at just the right moment, sending it soaring upward on its accumulated momentum.

Yaney said the first test involved a one-third scale suborbital accelerator running at just 20% capacity. Still, the device towers some 300 feet above the New Mexico desert, meaning the final SpinLaunch system is anticipated to be some 900 feet tall.

According to the video, the test took place at Spaceport America, a Federal Aviation Administration-licensed spaceport set up by Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, for launching its own suborbital flights.

The company was first set up in 2014 and has taken $110 million in venture capital to develop the SpinLaunch system.

"Because kinetically launched satellites exit the atmosphere without a rocket, SpinLaunch enables a future in which constellations of satellites and space payloads can be launched with zero emissions in the most critical layers of the atmosphere," the company explains on its website.

According to Everyday Astronaut, a single rocket launch can pump out tons of noxious pollutants, including carbon dioxide, carbon soot, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, chlorine, alumina and sulfuric compounds. Moreover, it costs up to $5,000 per pound to lift an object into space on a rocket.

However, even if the system is capable of putting a small satellite into orbit, it's unlikely to ever supplant a rocket launch, the SpinLaunch's payload is measured in pounds; by comparison, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket can lift more than 15 tons on a reusable flight and 22.8 tons on an expendable flight, lifting as many as 143 small satellites at once.

At its largest, SpinLaunch expects its payloads to be no more than 440 pounds (200 kilograms). The company gave no estimate as to the cost per launch.

The concept of a kinetic energy launcher or mass driver is one well-established in science fiction, and even attempted several times in the real world. Science fiction writers Jules Verne and H.G. Wells employed space cannons repeatedly in their futuristic literature, with the launch device appearing in Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" and Wells' "The War of the Worlds" and "Things to Come."

In the 1950s and 60s, the US and Canadian defense departments teamed up to build their own space cannon in an operation dubbed Project HARP (High Altitude Research Project), which involved building massive 16-inch-wide guns on Barbados and in Montreal and Arizona. HARP, however, was a series of reentry ballistics tests, not an attempt to develop a reliable alternative to rockets.

A US nuclear scientist proposed in 2010 the creation of a massive cannon that would extend more than 1,600 feet underwater to launch small payloads into orbit, although the device was never built.

Source: RIA Novosti

Related Links
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

SwRI, UTSA to study hypersonic separation events with $1.5 million grant
San Antonio TX (SPX) Nov 09, 2021
Southwest Research Institute will advance hypersonics research in collaboration with The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) under a three-year, $1.5 million grant through the University Consortium of Applied Hypersonics. As a subcontractor to UTSA, SwRI will design experiments to push the envelope on what is capable with hypersonic system designs and provide methods to better model complex system behavior during separation events. Hypersonic speeds are faster than five times the speed of so ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

First all-private space station mission to include two dozen experiments

NASA receives 11th consecutive clean financial audit opinion

NASA Administrator Statement on Russian ASAT Test

Matthias Maurer arrives at the International Space Station

SpinLaunch conducts first successful test of giant 'suborbital accelerator' satellite sling

Latest Vega launch paves way for Vega-C

Pangea Aerospace hot fire tests the first MethaLox aerospike engine in the world

PLD Space exhibits the first privately-developed Spanish rocket

Curiosity continues to dine on Zechstein drill fines

Twin of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover begins terrain tests

Mars - or Arrakis

Curiosity helping make Mars safer for astronauts

Chinese astronauts' EVAs to help extend mechanical arm

Astronaut becomes first Chinese woman to spacewalk

Shenzhou XIII crew ready for first spacewalk

Chinese astronauts arrive at space station for longest mission

Groundbreaking Iridium Certus 100 Service Launches with Partner Products for Land, Sea, Air and Industrial IoT

European software-defined satellite starts service

iRocket And Turion Space ink agreement for 10 launches to low earth orbit

OneWeb and Leonardo DRS announce partnership to offer low earth orbit services for Pentagon

Testing mini-radar to peer inside asteroid

NATO chief slams 'reckless' Russian satellite strike

Celestia STS introduces new approach to spacecraft test and simulation

Russian MoD: US Perfectly Aware Fragments of Downed Satellite Pose No Threat to Space Activities

The worlds next door: Looking for habitable planets around Alpha Centauri

Discovering exoplanets using artificial intelligence

Alien organisms - hitchhikers of the galaxy

"Alien" invasions and the need for planetary biosecurity

Science results offer first 3D view of Jupiter's atmosphere

Juno peers deep into Jupiter's colorful belts and zones

Scientists find strange black 'superionic ice' that could exist inside other planets

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is deeper than thought, shaped like lens

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.