Spaceport America tenant SpinLaunch, Inc. held the first test flight from its new suborbital accelerator launch system from New Mexico on October 22.
SpinLaunch started construction at Spaceport America in 2019 and is developing a launch system that uses kinetic energy with a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to spin a projectile at several times the speed of sound before releasing. The rocket launch company has constructed the world’s tallest suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America, which stands at over 150 feet tall – about the height of the Statue of Liberty.
“SpinLaunch is proving once again that innovative technology can come to life right here in New Mexico,” said New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “SpinLaunch brings high-paying engineering talent and investment to Spaceport America, and that contributes to the job-rich aerospace ecosystem we are building from Los Alamos to Las Cruces.”
SpinLaunch has raised over $110 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Airbus Ventures, Catapult Ventures, Lauder Partners and McKinley Capital. They are expected to spend over $38 million in construction at Spaceport America by the end of 2021. The company is expected to conduct about 30 suborbital test flights over the next six to eight months from the New Mexico site.
“SpinLaunch selected New Mexico and Spaceport America because of our collective entrepreneurial attitude and the spaceport’s operational advantages over many other sites around the nation and world,” said Spaceport America’s Executive Director Scott McLaughlin. “In just a little over two years, and even with the difficulties of COVID-19, SpinLaunch was able to bring their site to life and conduct their first high-altitude operational launch. We expect that they will be important contributors to New Mexico’s growing aerospace ecosystem for years to come.”