NASA to test terrifying 5,000mph space catapult to fling objects into orbit

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NASA are devising a catapult that can fling objects into space at a terrifying 5,000mph.

The catapult, which will rocket items and objects into space at record speeds is said to be a new invention created to save NASA time and money.

Hoping to save both time and money with their contraption, the catapult works by revolving a carbon fibre arm inside a steel vacuum chamber that measures 91 metres in diameter.

The speed generated by the carbon fibre arm will then propel a satellite containing a launch vehicle into space far quicker than the average rocket.

The satellites will use a small amount of propulsion to synchronise with the desired orbit, making it a strong alternative for the Space Agency.

NASA has teamed up with start-up company SpinLaunch to cut the cost, time and complexity of making the catapult, which they hope can transport devices up into the stratosphere.

CEO of SpinLaunch Jonathan Yaney said: "SpinLaunch is offering a unique suborbital flight and high-speed testing service, and the recent launch agreement with NASA marks a key inflection point as SpinLaunch shifts focus from technology development to commercial offerings."

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He continued: "What started as an innovative idea to make space more accessible has materialised into a technically mature and game-changing approach to launch."

SpinLaunch started in 2014 with the aim to "reimagine space launch technology and enable the rapid and cost-effective deployment of small satellite constellations into Low Earth Orbit".

A statement released by the company added: "Through these turnkey space solutions, SpinLaunch is helping customers eliminate the cost, time, and complexity constraints currently driving space-related business models – ultimately delivering less expensive, scalable access to space."

According to the official website, the company completed their first successful launch in Mexico last October, and are hoping for their first Nasa-partnered Suborbital Accelerator Launch System test to take place in 2025.

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  • Nasa
  • Space
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