This Company Built a Gigantic Centrifuge to Fling Rockets Into Space

Posted by on January 31, 2020 4:22 am
Categories: Health

(snip) a cryptic startup called SpinLaunch starts suborbital test flights of a rocket that is launched using an enormous centrifuge.

Here’s the gist: A centrifuge the size of a football field will spin a rocket around in circles for about an hour until its speed eventually exceeds 5,000 miles per hour. At that point, the rocket and its payload will feel forces 10,000 times stronger than gravity. When the centrifuge finally releases the rocket at launch speed, it should, practically speaking, fly through the stratosphere until it fires its engines at the periphery of our atmosphere. (snip)

SpinLaunch hopes its new system will replace rocket boosters, which currently augment a rocket’s own thrust power to escape the gravitational pull of Earth, and happen to be one of the most expensive components of a rocket launch. Even reusable boosters, like the ones powering the SpaceX Falcon 9, still require costly fuel and ongoing maintenance.

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