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SpinLaunch and NASA sign agreement to test accelerator launch system

SpinLaunch’s kinetic launch system. Credit: SpinLaunch

Edinburgh / Long Beach, 8 April 2022. – SpinLaunch has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA according to which SpinLaunch will develop, integrate, and fly a NASA payload on the company’s Suborbital Accelerator Launch System. This will provide valuable information to NASA for potential future commercial launch opportunities.

SpinLaunch will fly the first NASA payload on a developmental test flight later this year and also recover it for NASA. The two organizations will analyze the data together and assess the system for future flight opportunities. After the full review, NASA and SpinLaunch will make all non-proprietary launch information from the test flight public.

SpinLaunch’s Orbital Accelerator will accelerate the spacecraft to over 8,000 km/h using a rotating carbon-fiber-arm within a steel vacuum chamber. The company claims that over 70% of the fuel and structures of a typical rocket can be eliminated this way. The technology allows for hypersonic launch speeds without the need for any fundamental advancements in material science or technologies. A small propulsive stage provides the final velocity required for orbital insertion and positioning.

SpinLaunch’s first test flight was successful in flying a test vehicle at supersonic speeds and also recovering it last October. Since then, the company has conducted several test flights with a variety of payloads. The first orbital test launches are planned for 2025.

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