Trans-orbital rocket launches can be expensive, and wasteful. That's why a newish company called SpinLaunch has envisioned an alternative: a giant centrifugal slingshot that basically whips the satellite around for an hour until it reaches 5000 mph, then launching it through a tube and up into the atmosphere. If this works out, they say it could potentially reduce the cost of space launches by a factor of twenty.
Though the company launched in 2015, they just completed their first successful test launch on October 22, 20221 from its Spaceport America base in New Mexico.
This Company Wants to Launch Satellites Into Orbit Using a Giant Spinning Centrifugal Slingshot [Andrew Liszewski / Gizmodo]
SpinLaunch's rocket-free kinetic launch system conducts first test flight [Nick Lavars / New Atlas]