|By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor|
Image courtesy of Spinlaunch
Just when you thought the delivery of satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) had been forever revolutionized by Elon Musk, a Long Beach, CA-based spaceflight tech development company comes up with the idea to use a centrifuge to literally fling satellites into space. The company, SpinLaunch, promises to be an alternative method for launching 440-pound LEO satellites into space using one quarter of the fuel, at one tenth of the cost, multiple times per day.
Traditional fuel-based rockets use boosters that expend millions of cubic feet of methane or thousands of pounds of hydrogen. SpinLaunch, however, uses a ground-based, electric powered kinetic launch system, which relies on high-speed centrifugal forces — G forces — to propel the satellite into orbit, like a track and field athlete spinning and throwing the discus. Continue Reading