SpinLaunch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SpinLaunch Inc.
TypePrivate
IndustryAerospace
Headquarters4350 E Conant St, ,
United States
Key people
  • Jonathan Yaney, CEO
Number of employees
Est. 120-180
Websitewww.spinlaunch.com
Footnotes / references
California Secretary of State,[1] Built in LA [2]

SpinLaunch is a spaceflight technology development company working on mass accelerator technology to move payloads to space.[3] As of September 2022, the company has raised US$150 million in funding, with investors including Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Airbus Ventures, ATW Partners, Catapult Ventures, Lauder Partners, John Doerr, and the Byers Family.[4][5]

History[edit]

SpinLaunch was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Yaney in Sunnyvale, California. The company's headquarters are in Long Beach.[6] In 2020 it opened a launch site. SpinLaunch continued development of its 140,000 square-foot (13,000 m2) corporate headquarters in Long Beach, and of its flight test facility at Spaceport America in New Mexico.[7]

In late 2021, SpinLaunch was named one of the "World's Best Employers in the Space Industry" by Everything Space, a recruitment platform specializing in the space industry.[8]

In March 2022, SpinLaunch was listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022 by Time Magazine. In April, SpinLaunch received a launch contract from NASA to test a payload.[9][10]

Technology[edit]

SpinLaunch is developing a kinetic energy space launch system that reduces dependency on traditional chemical rockets, with the goal of significantly lowering the cost of access to space while increasing the frequency of launch. The technology uses a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to spin a rocket and then hurl it to space at up to 4,660 mph (7,500 km/h; 2.08 km/s). The rocket then ignites its engines at an altitude of roughly 200,000 ft (60 km) to reach orbital speed of 17,150 mph (27,600 km/h; 7.666 km/s) with a payload of up to 200kg. Peak acceleration would be approximately 10,000 g.[11] If successful, the acceleration concept is projected to lower the cost of launches and to use much less power, with the price of a single space launch reduced by a factor of 20 to under US$500,000.[12][13]

The SpinLaunch system's historical predecessors include centrifugal guns.

Flight testing[edit]

At Spaceport America in New Mexico on 22 October 2021, SpinLaunch conducted the first vertical test of their accelerator at 20% of its full power capacity, hurling a 10-foot-long (3.0 m) passive projectile to an altitude of "tens of thousands of feet." This test accelerator is 108 ft (33 m) in diameter, which makes it a one-third scale of the operational system that is being designed.[14][15][16] The compay's first 10 test flights reached as much as 30,000 feet (9,100 m) feet in altitude.

A September 2022 test flight carried payloads for NASA, Airbus US, Cornell Engineering’s Space Systems Design Studio (SSDS) and Outpost. [17]

Criticism[edit]

A number of reasons why this technology may not work have been put forward, including problems with massive spinning objects, potential for catastrophic damage to the payload, incompatibility with traditional liquid rocket fuels, increased atmospheric drag relative to existing technologies, and other potential problems with the idea.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Business Search". businesssearch.sos.ca.gov. California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Built in LA SpinLaunch Overview". Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  3. ^ Oberhaus, Daniel (15 October 2019). "Stories of People Who Are Racing to Save Us". Wired. Archived from the original on 11 March 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  4. ^ Chowdhry, Amit (20 January 2020). "SpinLaunch Raises $35 Million for the First Kinetic Launch System". Pulse 2.0. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  5. ^ "SpinLaunch Closes $71M Series B Funding Round". Business Wire. US. 20 September 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  6. ^ Malik, Tariq (19 June 2019). "Secretive Startup SpinLaunch Gets 1st Launch Contract for US Military". Space.com. Archived from the original on 14 June 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  7. ^ Wall, Mike (16 January 2020). "Stealth Space Startup SpinLaunch Snares Another $35 Million From Investors". Space.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  8. ^ "World's Best Employers in the Space Industry". Everything Space. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  9. ^ Wall, Mike (6 April 2022). "SpinLaunch's rocket-flinging launch system will loft NASA payload on test flight this year". Space.com. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  10. ^ Coldewey, Devin (6 April 2022). "SpinLaunch scores NASA test mission to demonstrate its unique launch method". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  11. ^ Allain, Rhett. "Hurling Satellites Into Space Seems Crazy—but Might Just Work". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  12. ^ Constine, Josh (22 February 2018). "Stealth space catapult startup SpinLaunch is raising $30M". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  13. ^ Oberhaus, Daniel (29 January 2020). "Inside SpinLaunch, the Space Industry's Best Kept Secret". Wired. Archived from the original on 11 July 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  14. ^ Sheetz, Michael (9 November 2021). "Alternative rocket builder SpinLaunch completes first test flight". CNBC. Archived from the original on 28 February 2022. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  15. ^ @SpinLaunch (9 November 2021). "Scott, good eye. However, "Flight #1" was a successful horizontal flight. (the entire vacuum chamber assembly can rotate to a variety of launch elevations for testing & range flexibility)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ "SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America". SpaceNews. 10 November 2021. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  17. ^ Sampson, Ben (14 October 2022). "SpinLaunch completes tenth flight test with payloads from NASA and Airbus". Aerospace Testing. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  18. ^ Spiegel, Ethen (17 November 2022). "Will physics prevent SpinLaunch from succeeding?". Big Think.

External links[edit]