In the 21st century, there is a new space race, especially between Tesla (SpaceX) and Amazon (Blue Origin). Both focus on the traditional methods of launching satellites into space - large rockets. However, a small startup called SpinLaunch is developing a cheaper and environmentally friendly way to launch satellites.
The SpinLaunch uses a giant centrifuge to launch objects into space. By "material" we mean things that can withstand the G-force generated by spinning at 5,000 mph (more than 10,000 G), a class that doesn't include satellites yet. In the past month, a rocket-propelled grenade has launched tens of thousands of feet into the air, using only 20 percent of the accelerator. p>
The design is relatively simple. The carbon fiber conductor keeps the projectile inside a vacuum chamber because it rotates at a high speed. When the centrifuge reaches the desired speed, the ejector shoots a tube higher than the Statue of Liberty (50.4 m). This is no different from shooting carousel friends in your childhood. A more mature and controlled application of this principle is the Olympic hammer throw competition. p>
New Atlas notes that this is an electric accelerator and can reduce the amount of fuel needed to launch satellites. SpinLaunch estimates that its centrifuge consumes four times less fuel than conventional rockets and has zero emissions. It's also 10 times cheaper per launch because it can charge multiple times a day. p>
The company owns two versions of the accelerator. The drunk, which was successfully tested on October 22, stands upright in the middle of the New Mexico desert so the test vehicles don't swerve too much and crush nothing when descending. Orbit launcher is for experimental purposes only. p>
The orbital launcher is what the company intends but has not yet built the facility (below). The agency says it is looking to build it in an undeclared coastal area. SpinLaunch is currently seeking FAA approval. When all is well, the startup builds the accelerator next to a hill to get the correct angle for orbital flight. It will be larger than the test unit for higher speeds, but it works on the same principle. p>
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