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Exotic Non-Rocket US Launcher Conducts a Successful 20% Power Test


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Watts Up With That

Eric Worrall

Nov. 12 2021

US based SpinLaunch has performed their first 20% power launch, flinging a test payload “10s of thousands” of feet into the sky.

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Alternative rocket builder SpinLaunch completes first test flight

PUBLISHED TUE, NOV 9 20211:19 PM ESTUPDATED TUE, NOV 9 20214:25 PM EST
Michael Sheetz@THESHEETZTWEETZ

SpinLaunch, which is building an alternative method of launching spacecraft to orbit, last month conducted its first test flight of a prototype in New Mexico.

The company is developing a launch system that uses kinetic energy as its primary method to get off the ground – with a vacuum-sealed centrifuge spinning the rocket at several times the speed of sound before releasing.

“It’s a radically different way to accelerate projectiles and launch vehicles to hypersonic speeds using a ground-based system,” SpinLaunch CEO Jonathan Yaney told CNBC. “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.”

(Snip)

 

A word of caution – SpinLaunch still have a long way to go, until they are ready to attempt their first true orbital launch.

So far that big carbon fibre arm has only been subject to 20% of its design tolerance. Pushing it to 100% or whatever the design velocity is will be a white knuckle ride. Any undetected mechanical flaw and the launcher could spectacularly disintegrate, with an energy release comparable to a rocket failure.

(Snip)

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