SpinLaunch: The gigantic horn is undergoing a new test

SpinLaunch: The gigantic horn is undergoing a new test

SpinLaunch

A few months ago, we reported a company called Green Launch, which offers to bring useful cargo into space using a huge gas gun, an approach that can save fuel compared to conventional launches and thus reduce the price. The company, founded in 2014, SpinLaunch, seeks the same goal, but by using its own method: giant horns.

How does it work?

First, a small payload rocket is attached to the end of a large carbon fibre bar, which itself is placed in a large circular vacuum chamber. The arm begins to rotate faster and faster, reaching a speed of more than 8,000 km/h. The load is then removed from the rotating lever through a vertical exit pipe. It then passes through the thickness of the Earth ' s lower atmosphere and finally reaches the stratosphere.

According to SpinLaunch, such a launch could eliminate more than 70 per cent of the fuel and structures required for a conventional missile, so the company seeks to reduce costs from tens of millions of dollars to less than $500,000.

New NASA Test

We know that NASA is interested in this concept. The American Agency has already signed a contract to test this approach. This test just passed in the desert of New Mexico. For the company, it was the tenth test. Its main objective was to determine whether sensitive scientific equipment on board a small rocket could withstand the intense gravity of the ground in a suborbital accelerator.

This payload of NASA included a data collection unit equipped with a set of sensors consisting of two accelerometers, a gyroscope, a magnetometer and pressure, temperature and humidity sensors. After reaching the right height, a small rocket launched a parachute, after which it landed gently near the site. The company did not provide any information on the height of the last test, but in previous launches the objects reached a height of more than 7.5 km.

However, the DAQ has since been restored. It appears that the equipment has survived. Now researchers are going to analyse the data. "The data and information collected during the flight tests will be invaluable both to SpinLaunch in the further development of the orbital launch system and to our clients, who hope that we will provide them with sustainable, affordable and highly productive access to space."

It's not only NASA's interest in this. Airbus, Cornell University, and the Outpost satellite delivery company are also interested in this, so we're going to propose additional tests. If everything goes according to plan, SpinLaunch hopes to start offering orbital launches to its clients by 2025.