SpinLaunch announced that they signed a deal with NASA to launch a payload with its suborbital system later this year, as a test for potential future commercial launches.
SpinLaunch’s launch method will eventually work like this: First, a payload such as a satellite is attached to the end of a large, carbon fiber arm that is placed inside of a large circular vacuum chamber. The arm then starts spinning, powered by an electric motor placed at the center of the chamber, according to Newsweek.
The payload at the end of the arm is accelerated faster and faster, past the speed of sound and onwards up to 5,000 miles per hour.
Then, at exactly the right time, the payload is released from the spinning arm so that it fires straight upwards and out of the vacuum chamber via a vertical exit tube.
Due to its initial high velocity, the payload tears through the Earth’s thick lower atmosphere until it gets above the stratosphere; the part of Earth’s atmosphere that extends to 31 miles high.