WATCH: What’s It Like Being a Projectile Slingshotted Into Space
Last November, we reported on a start-up called SpinLaunch that was working on sending rockets into space using a gigantic super powered slingshot. The rocket is placed on a rotating arm on earth that spins really fast and then flings it into the sky, where a small engine will light up and propel the rocket into space. This novel idea will allow space launches to take place with less fuel and lower costs.
Back then, the company had just completed their inaugural test. And if you thought it was one big, amusing joke back then or was skeptical, well, think again. The company has just completed their eighth test flight and is on their way to testing with a payload for NASA.
During the most recent test, someone over at Spin Launch had the brilliant idea of attaching a camera to the 10-foot-long projectile. The footage starts inside a vacuum centrifuge where the projectile gets spun at speeds over 1,000 mph before suddenly being shot into the sky as the New Mexico desert (where SpinLaunch’s operations are currently based) below spins and shrinks as the projectile flies higher until the curvature of the earth is seen.
While the test is a success, it’s still a scaled down version of what Spin Launch plans to build. The test system stands 50 metres tall but is a mere one-third of the actual launch system in the works.
The payload will have to be able to withstand up to 10,000G; that and the nauseating spinning, we’re guessing humans not included, at least not yet.