A new video gives us a dramatic look at SpinLaunch’s unique take-off strategy for space.
SpinLaunch She plans to accelerate the rockets to massive speeds on solid ground using a rotating arm and then fling them high into the sky, where their engines will light up and power their way into orbit. Company representatives say this new methodology will allow SpinLaunch to launch satellites at a low cost and high tempo.
SpinLaunch is testing the idea using the 165-foot (50 m) suborbital accelerator in which it is built. America’s space port in New Mexico. On April 22, for example, the California-based company conducted its eighth flight test from the facility, launching a 10-foot (3-meter) test vehicle into the sky at more than 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h).
That car carried a digital camera, a first on the SpinLaunch test ride. And on April 28, the company published some The resulting screenshots are on YouTube.
The 70-second video is a gorgeous sight, showing the reddish-brown New Mexico desert spinning quickly under the hovering test vehicle. But fear not, those with weak stomachs: the rotation begins to slow down towards the end, and until we get a brief glimpse of the blackness of space.
Placing a camera on the test car had a specific g-sizzle value, as shown in the last video. But that’s not the main reason why SpinLaunch does it.
“Flying with the onboard digital camera system is an important step toward integrating complex payloads into SpinLaunch flight test vehicles,” company representatives said in a description of the YouTube video.
SpinLaunch recently announced that NASA has signed on to carry a payload using the suborbital accelerator, on a test flight. Expected to happen later this year.
Such work will help the company continue building toward orbital flight, which SpinLaunch aims to achieve by 2025. The first orbital launches will occur from a coastal location in the United States, which the company says will will be announced soon.
Mike Wall is the author of “AbroadBook (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook.
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