Spin Launch All Set to Launch Its First Flight Using Kinetic System

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Image Source:  Nanosats Database

Spin Launch, a startup that is working on a kinetic space launch system, with great effort and struggle has successfully completed its first prototype flight. It is a major milestone for the seven-year-old company as it works toward a test of its full-scale system.

The story behind that system is quite wild: Basically, Spin Launch wants to get to orbit by using a large, vacuum-sealed chamber and a hypersonic rope to spin a spacecraft at a high enough velocity up to 5,000 miles per hour to escape the atmosphere. It is markedly different way of thinking about spaceflight, much more similar to a giant rail gun rather than a conventional launch system.

According to Spin Launch, such a system is now possible thanks to advances in small electronics and high-strength materials like carbon fiber, which can have stiffed both the launch vehicle and small satellites to High-G forces.

The prototype flight took place on October 22 at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Moreover, to launch the test vehicle at supersonic speeds using the accelerator, which was around one-third the size of the planned system, but still larger than the Statue of Liberty, Spin Launch notes on its website, the startup also recovered the vehicle to reuse it for later tests.

Image Source: Yahoo Finance

CEO of Spin Launch said, “This is about standing up a building and a space launch system that is going to step into the commercial markets with a very high tempo and launch at the lowest cost in the industry”.

SpinLaunch, which was founded in 2014 by Yaney, focuses to conduct around 30 suborbital test flights over the next six to eight months, CNBC reported. The startup has been backed by Airbus Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and GV.

The startup is not disclosing the site for its first orbital launch, but its website notes it will be “a coastal region of the United States.” Spin Launch has raised $110 million to date, from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Airbus Ventures, Google Ventures, Catapult ventures, Lauder Partners and Mckinley Captial.

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