NASA has signed a contract with California-based startup SpinLaunch to test a very unusual space launch system that could be termed a “space slingshot.” This technology could accelerate a rocket by spinning it in a giant electric vacuum centrifuge to several times the speed of sound and then detonating it upwards, thus eliminating the use of the first stage. The newspaper writes that, having already started its own engines at high altitude, the reusable rocket will go into space to carry a payload there – for example, a satellite that can withstand huge overloads. daily mail.
If all goes really well with the upcoming test, then by the end of the decade, NASA will be able to launch satellites into low Earth orbits in a very cheap and extremely environmentally friendly way. After that, they will be able to return to Earth for repeated launches. According to the publication, SpinLaunch will conduct the first simplified extra-space test flight later this year, and then work with NASA to evaluate the effectiveness of spaceflights using this so-called suborbital booster. The first orbital test launches of SpinLaunch are scheduled for 2025.
“SpinLaunch offers a unique service for suborbital flight and high-speed testing, and the recent launch agreement with NASA marks an important milestone as the focus shifts from technology development to commercial use,” said Jonathan Jani, Founder and CEO of SpinLaunch. “What started as an innovative idea to make the space more accessible has turned into a technically mature and revolutionary project.”
Assuming that the SpinLaunch device will accelerate the satellite and launch vehicle to 8500 km/h using a rotating carbon fiber arm in a 90 m diameter steel vacuum chamber, savings of more than 70% will be possible. various designs consisting of fuel and a typical rocket. SpinLaunch hopes the orbiter will be able to put a payload of about 200kg, corresponding to the mass of small satellites, into orbit. So far, only test flights with various payloads have been carried out by the starter at a maximum speed of about 1,700 km/h.
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