For the last few years, SpaceX has dominated the commercial space industry by pioneering reusable rocket technology and drastically reducing the cost of launching satellites to orbit.
But Jonathan Laney, a serial startup founder, wants space travel to be even cheaper, reducing the costs of a launch from tens of millions of dollars to under $500,000. His plan? Use a giant centrifuge to sling cargo and rockets into orbit.
This is the idea behind SpinLaunch, a company Laney founded in secret in 2014. The company wants to build a giant centrifuge that would harness angular momentum to fling payloads into orbit without any propellant. Alternatively, the centrifuge could be used to launch small rockets to high altitudes where they could then use their thrusters to push them into orbit, eliminating the need for a fuel intensive first stage booster.
“Since the dawn of space exploration, rockets have been the only way to access space” Laney told TechCrunch. “Yet in 70 years, the technology has only made small incremental advances. To truly commercialize and industrialize space, we need 10x tech improvement.”
Until the TechCrunch story was published on Thursday, little was known about SpinLaunch. The company’s website is password protected and job listings describe it in vague terms as a “rapidly growing space launch startup.”
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.