SpinLaunch’s “slingshot” launch system, which uses the acceleration of a rotating arm to shoot a vector into the sky without the use of fuel for the thrust of the vector, has successfully conducted the tenth flight test that it included payloads from several companies, including NASA.
The test was embedded in the agreement signed between SpinLaunch and NASA in April, with which the American space agency decided to test the launch system of the American startup, recording the flight data and also providing the necessary means for recovery. of payload.
In addition to the NASA cargo, the carrier fired by SpinLaunch on Sept. 27 included instruments from Airbus, Cornell University, and satellite developer Outpost.
Equipment launched without using vector propellant
SpinLaunch’s sub-orbital accelerator is located near Spaceport America, New Mexico. It is more than 50 meters high and the “centrifuge” used to accelerate the vector has a diameter of 33 meters and is a steel vacuum chamber with a rotating carbon fiber arm inside.
The equipment that represented the load on the tenth test flight was first tested in SpinLaunch’s experimental accelerator in Long Beach, California, with a diameter of 12 meters.
The load was then accelerated to 10,000 G and subsequently inspected to verify that the equipment has not been damaged. The positive results then gave the green light for the actual launch at the sub-orbital accelerator in New Mexico.
Unfortunately SpinLaunch did not provide many details on the launch with the payload, however it stated that the flight path was similar to the previous tests and that the load reached an altitude of 9,150 meters.
For SpinLaunch and the test partners, the flight nevertheless proved that the equipment fired into space is “compatible with the company’s launch environment“.
The NASA device loaded and launched with SpinLaunch had two accelerometers, a gyroscope, a magnetometer, and sensors for pressure, temperature and humidity.
The data collected by the device, including that collected from other payloads, will help SpinLaunch develop its “slingshot” (or rather, “centrifuge”) launch system.
In the future, the orbital accelerator three times the size of New Mexico
Among the objectives of SpinLaunch is to create an accelerator for orbital launches that will have a diameter of approximately 91 meters and which will fire the carriers of 200 kg of cargo at a speed of 8,000 km / h. Upon reaching the stratosphere, a small propulsive stage will provide the vector with the final thrust required for orbital insertion and positioning.