Spin launch’s ginormous centrifuge plans to slingshot rockets into space

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One of the greatest obstacles in launching spacecraft off our planet is the tremendous volume and cost of fuel required to achieve escape velocity and break out of Earth’s gravity well into the vacuum of outer space.

Aerospace firms have offered a number of novel solutions to this dilemma, but we’re still stuck with the good old-fashioned method of firing up a rocket engine and blasting ourselves off our spinning rock in a thunderous display.

Hoping to build a better mousetrap, California startup firm SpinLaunch is taking a kinetic energy approach and has lofty plans to construct a football field-sized, vacuum-sealed centrifuge that will accelerate a 25-foot-long rocket to over 5,000 miles per hour, then release it to slingshot into the heavens before its booster engine fires to attain a proper orbital attitude.

Continue reading… “Spin launch’s ginormous centrifuge plans to slingshot rockets into space”

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NASA will pay you $19,000 to stay in bed — and be spun in a centrifuge

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Some study participants will be spun in a short-arm human centrifuge that generates artificial gravity.

Like to lounge in bed? We might have your dream job.

NASA wants Earth-bound volunteers to test how artificial gravity might help keep astronauts healthy in space.

NASA and the European Space Agency will pay you $19,000 to lie in bed for two months. Two months! That’s a lot of Netflix.

The prolonged bed rest is part of a study that launched this week into the effects of weightlessness on the human body. Phase 2 will be conducted by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) from September through December in Cologne, Germany.

Continue reading… “NASA will pay you $19,000 to stay in bed — and be spun in a centrifuge”

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