SpinLaunch is a space technology company that created a catapult-like approach to sending payloads into space with minimal rocket propellant. SpinLaunch created the world’s first kinetic space launch system. Its Suborbital Accelerator has been underdoing testing, and SpinLaunch attached a camera to its test vehicle during its most recent test flight, resulting in incredible footage.
The first test flight was on October 22, 2021, and it launched a test vehicle at supersonic speeds. The reusable test vehicle was safely recovered upon its descent. Additional test flights, such as the eighth test flight seen below, have been performed using different vehicles at varying speeds. Below, a 3m (9.8′) long test vehicle was launched at more than 1,600 kph (1,000 mph). SpinLaunch didn’t state how high the test vehicle got, but previous tests have launched vehicles to over 9,000m (30,000′).
SpinLaunch’s Suborbital Accelerator is 50.4m (165′) tall. That’s a few meters taller than the Statue of Liberty. The structure is designed to operate from 1,287 to 8,047 kph (800-5,000 mph). The test vehicle includes angled fins to induce a rapid spin rate, stabilizing the vehicle during its ascent. Of course, a faster spin rate does make the video a bit more dizzying.
The Suborbital Accelerator is a smaller-scale version of a similar launcher that SpinLaunch intends to build. The larger version would be able to launch 200kg (400 lbs.) payloads into low Earth orbit. Alongside its kinetic launch systems, SpinLaunch is also developing low-cost satellites to launch with its mass accelerators.
SpinLaunch’s mass accelerators offer up to a four times reduction in required fuel to reach orbit and a ten times reduction in cost. Plus, the mass accelerator can be used multiple times a day. The first customer launches are planned for 2025. To learn much more about SpinLaunch, its developments and its mission, visit its website.