The company wants to launch a satellite with a huge centrifugal slingshot

2021-11-25 07:41:32 By : Mr. Rong Da

Although watching the rocket lift off is impressive, it is ironic that the use of fossil fuels and explosions to pursue our dreams of space exploration is primitive. A company called SpinLaunch thought it had a better idea: it wanted to use a huge spinning centrifuge to launch small objects into space.

So far, space exploration has been limited to government agencies funded by the federal government or companies backed by billionaires. This is for a reason. These companies are desperately trying to change the memory of history. Even if these launch systems can be reliably recycled, refurbished, and reused, tying cargo to the rocket using proven and reliable methods is a very expensive task.

However, the alternative to launching rockets was not entirely successful. In the 1960s, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Canadian Department of Defense established a joint partnership called Project HARP (High Altitude Research Project) to develop giant earth cannons that can blow objects into space. HARP used the 16-inch cannon built by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Yuma Test Range to successfully fire a 180-kilometer projectile into the atmosphere, but by the late 1960s, both governments withdrew funding for the research project and officially closed the Before it is realized.

SpinLaunch’s approach is somewhat similar to the HARP project, but the kinetic energy space launch system it has been developing since 2015 completely eliminates explosive materials. Instead, an electric centrifuge spins objects at a speed of up to 5,000 MPH in the vacuum chamber and then releases them through a launch tube as high as the Statue of Liberty. On October 22, the company successfully conducted a test at the company's spaceport base in New Mexico, launching a 10-foot-long projectile that soared to tens of thousands of feet, but the operating power of the centrifuge was about 20% of its full power.

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Ultimately, SpinLaunch plans to build a larger accelerator capable of launching objects such as satellites weighing 440 pounds. With continuous testing in the next few years, it hopes to provide services to paying customers as early as 2024, but don't expect this approach to promote space tourism. Humans faint easily when experiencing gravity as low as 3, and if the force lasts for one second, they can survive at around 9 g. However, objects rotating at 5,000 MPH can withstand more than 10,000 gravity, which means that the SpinLaunch system is only suitable for satellites built around modern electronic equipment, and its sturdy components can withstand these extreme launch conditions.

Uh... nothing? Why do you even think it is necessary to put this in the article?

Do Gizmodo readers really do not understand that people cannot spin at 5000 mph?