This is a kind of space catapult. An American start-up has devised an innovative method to send cargo beyond the Earth and at low cost.
Until now, sending cargo into space has been quite expensive and possible only through the launch of spacecraft used for transport. However, an American start-up has come up with an innovative new method of transferring objects: a huge and powerful space catapult. To send a supply beyond the boundaries of the Earth, the launch system is based on centrifugal force.
How the space catapult works
A large rotating arm, accelerating to a tangential velocity several times the speed of sound, propels the space rocket, containing the supply, into the cosmos. At that moment, the capsule undocks and departs toward the stars. The launch platform is about 50 meters high and is similar to a giant carousel. After the capsule is attached to the arm, the structure is pressurized and air is expelled to decrease friction. At that point, the arm is rotated until it reaches the speed needed to counteract the force of gravity.
The space catapult test flight and the economic benefits of the system
The arm used in the test flight was about 10 feet long and reached a height of several thousand feet. The capsule then returned to the ground via a parachute, however, the company's goal is that once the thrust is exhausted, it will continue to travel to Space via a rocket thruster. The test was directed to try the launch structure and verify the real operating parameters. The unconventional method, according to the start-up that realized it, could allow to send loads beyond the Earth's atmosphere at much lower costs because it needs less fuel. The initial thrust is provided by kinetic energy and this would allow the construction of smaller spacecraft, lighter and simpler than the current ones.
The next step of the American start-up SpinLaunch is to build an even larger catapult that can send loads up to 200 kilograms into space. The idea is to be able to perform dozens of launches per day and in the next six months have already been scheduled at least thirty suborbital flights to collect data for the design of the super facility. Meanwhile, continuing with the current systems of supply, for 2022 it is planned to send on the Iss extra virgin olive oil, which will be brought with the mission of Samantha Cristoforetti. Regarding space, instead, Nasa has set off the rocket that aims to hit an asteroid.