The rise of SpinLaunch, the company planning to hurl things into space

In the desert of New Mexico, a centrifuge taller than the Statue of Liberty is being tested as an energy-efficient way to send satellites to space

Space 31 May 2022

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The SpinLaunch centrifuge in New Mexico


Bumping along a dirt track in New Mexico, something alien rises above the expanse of brush. It looks like a flying saucer on its side, a huge circle 4 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty. This is SpinLaunch’s suborbital accelerator, a colossal centrifuge built to practice throwing satellites into space. It seems like a wild idea, but it just might work, as I saw when I watched the company’s ninth test flight.

SpinLaunch started in California in 2014 with the goal …

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