According to, “This Company Built a Gigantic Centrifuge to Fling Rockets Into Space“, an article written by Courtney Linder and published by Popular Mechanics, SpinLaunch, a newcomer to the pursuit of space exploration, plans to enter Earth’s orbit through the use of a unique launch system.

In describing the procedure for takeoff, Linder states that “a centrifuge the size of a football  will spin a rocket around in circles for about an hour until its speed eventually exceeds 5,000 miles per hour. At that point, the rocket and its payload will feel forces 10,000 times stronger than gravity. When the centrifuge finally releases the rocket at launch speed, it should, practically speaking, fly through the stratosphere until it fires its engines at the periphery of our atmosphere” (Linder).

SpinLaunch claims that this action will account for a large portion of the distance needed to enter orbit, and that fuel-based boosters will only be used in a small portion of the rocket’s flight (SpinLaunch via Wired and Popular Mechanics)(Oberhaus)(Linder).

While the rocket and payload will undergo immense stress, the company has reportedly completed successful tests on cargo within their smaller-scale, test centrifuge. That being said, this test model does not induce the same increased force of gravity as SpinLaunch’s ideal centrifuge (SpinLaunch via Wired and Popular Mechanics)(Oberhaus)(Linder).

The centrifuge holds promise, and “in June, SpinLaunch signed a responsive launch prototype contract with the Department of Defense to build out its kinetic energy-based launch system that will provide a lower-cost option for the ever-growing satellite industry” according to Linder (Linder).

In my opinion, I believe that this technology has the potential to revolutionize space travel as it is known today. The development of a reusable launch system and minimal use of rocket propulsion of fuel will most likely reduce the cost of launching a satellite into orbit immensely. Hopefully, this reduced price tag will aid in human research efforts in Earth’s immediate orbit and bolster mankind’s understanding of space itself.


Article: “Inside SpinLaunch, the Space Industry’s Best Kept Secret”(Daniel Oberhaus)(Wired Magazine)- https://www.wired.com/story/inside-spinlaunch-the-space-industrys-best-kept-secret/

Article: “This Company Built a Gigantic Centrifuge to Fling Rockets Into Space”(Courtney Linder)(Popular Mechanics)- https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a30716423/spinlaunch-centrifuge-rocket/

Claims from SpinLaunch can only be found as they are reported on the websites of Popular Mechanics or Wired Magazine.

2 thoughts on “SpinLaunch

  1. This idea, if it works, will be a popular method of space travel. The draw of not burning as much fuel, also known as money, will be massively beneficial to companies trying to lower the cost of safe space travel. The massive issue is the force that is put on the rocket. Like Matt said, no satellite currently in space could’ve withstood that much force. If that can somehow be placed somewhere else, or perhaps a capsule could be built where the outside of the capsule could withstand it but on the inside it would not be felt would be a solution. This would allow for human passengers and fragile cargo. I am interested to see where this goes and how it will be applied to space exploration in the future.


  2. I think this is a really interesting concept and I’m excited to see the results of some actual testing. It’s interesting to me that they have received so much attention from big investors like Google and the DoD so early on. Also, their claim of being able to launch five rockets in one day is a really important point. Current launch companies like SpaceX and Rocket Lab are almost solely focused on increasing the cadence of their launches to decrease the overall operating costs of their systems. Being able to launch five rockets in one day would be a very big step towards decreasing the cost of access to orbit.

    One major question I have is with regards to the payloads riding on this system. There isn’t a single satellite in orbit that could have withstood 10,000(!!!) Gs on the way to space, so I’m curious as to what they will actually launch with this rocket.

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