Spin to win: a space start-up will launch centrifugal force rockets

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A A California start-up has come up with a “revolutionary” idea for sending satellites into space.

SpinLaunch is a startup that has come up with a new way to send satellites into space. The startup is developing a launch platform that would use centrifugal force to “spin” projectiles in an effort to launch satellites into space. The platform would use the force to put a small rocket into orbit.

The launch pad concept “has a lot more in common with maybe, say, an amusement park ride than a rocket,” SpinLaunch CEO Jonathan Yaney told CNN.

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The project was born out of a desire to find a new, affordable way to send rockets into space.

“SpinLaunch was just an exercise to take a fresh look at how we can use renewables and ground power to really do this in a different way,” Yaney said. “I ran about 20 or 30 different scenarios, from rail guns, to electromagnetic accelerators, to, you know, space cannons, light gas guns.”

The company concluded that a giant juicer was the best option. Each launch would cost just $2,000 in electricity to launch, according to Yaney. If accurate, it would be significantly cheaper than the $900,000 in fuel it would cost to launch a SpaceX craft into space.

The startup has been around for seven years and has received funding from technology investors such as GV and Airbus Ventures. The company has carried out nine high-altitude test flights with a smaller version of what it envisions and expects the spinner to have to spin at 17,000 miles per hour to generate enough force to send it into the sky.

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The project is still in its early stages and is being scrutinized to see if it would be safe for the machines in question. It would also be limited to satellite launches as any human attempting to be launched by the centrifuge would be crushed by the resulting G-force. The company announced in April that it was partnering with NASA to test its launch system.

Other space startups have attempted to create alternatives to rocket launches, including Virgin Orbit and Rocket Lab. While NASA and other space agencies have sought alternatives to fuel-powered rocket launches, none have stood out to date.

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