SpinLaunch, a California-based start-up developing a spinning arm that can launch small satellites into near-Earth space, has conducted its 10th successful test launch in less than a year.
SpinLaunch suborbital accelerator system launched the company’s flight vehicle for a short suborbital flight from a base in America’s Spaceport in New Mexico on September 27. For the first time, the vehicle hosted a number of third-party experiments, including NASA, Airbus and Cornell University.
More than 150 visitors watched as the gasser, who looked like a giant gun facing the sky, fired his bullet into the air.
“Today we completed our tenth test flight and proved it is a system that is time and time again reliable,” said Jonathan Yaney, founder and CEO of SpinLaunch in a video the company shared on YouTube on Tuesday (Oct. 4). “This is not a rocket and clearly our ability to run so many tests in just eleven months and have them all work as planned is really a testament to the nature of our technology.”
Related: Startup SpinLaunch Completes First Wild Rocket Launch System Test Flight
The 10th successful flight was a significant milestone for SpinLaunch as it demonstrated that “standard satellite components are inherently compatible with SpinLaunch’s launch environment,” the company said in a statement.
Customer payloads launched from the accelerator had to survive up to 10,000 Gs (that’s 10,000 times the force of Earth’s gravity) as the 108-foot-long (33 m) rotating arm encased in a white casing rotated the payload faster than the speed of sound.
The latest test flight took place just a week after the company announced that it had raised $71 million as part of it Series B funding round.
“Flight Test 10 represents a key turning point for SpinLaunch as we open the Suborbital Accelerator system externally to our customers, strategic partners and research teams,” Yaney said in the statement. “The data and information gathered from the flight tests will be invaluable both to SpinLaunch as we advance the development of the Orbital Launch System, and to our customers who look to us to provide them with sustainable low-cost, high-rate access. in space”.
SpinLaunch, founded in 2014, did first successful suborbital flight in 2021. The company eventually aims to develop an orbital launch system that would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than jet fuel missiles. The full-scale orbital accelerator could shoot its small constellations satellites in low Earth orbit, the area below an altitude of 600 miles (1,000 kilometers), as soon as 2026, the company envisions.