LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jonathan Yaney, founder and CEO of SpinLaunch, has announced that the company has been awarded a responsive launch prototype contract from the Department of Defense (DOD), facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU).
SpinLaunch is developing a kinetic energy-based launch system that will provide the world’s lowest-cost orbital launch services for the rapidly growing small satellite industry. In 2018, the company received $40 million in a Series A financing round from Airbus Ventures, Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.
The recently published State of the Space Industrial Base states that the future and growth of the U.S. space economy is “critically dependent on continuing reductions in the costs and risks associated with launch. There is a bifurcation of launch providers between lower-cost, ‘bulk’ carriers...and higher-cost, ‘niche’ providers offering lower lift-mass, but launch to a specific orbit.”
“SpinLaunch fills this gap by providing dedicated orbital launch with high frequency at a magnitude lower cost than any current ‘niche’ launch system,” stated Yaney. “This will truly be a disruptive enabler for the emerging commercial space industry. There is a promising market surge in the demand for LEO constellations of inexpensive small satellites for disaster monitoring, weather, reconnaissance, communications and other services.”
In January 2019, SpinLaunch moved from Silicon Valley to its new 140,000 square foot headquarters in Long Beach, California and last month broke ground on a new $7 million test facility on 10 acres at New Mexico’s Spaceport America. First kinetic energy flight tests are expected to occur early 2020 and the company has announced its plans for first launch by 2022.
The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) was established in 2015 to reinvigorate and lead DoD outreach to commercial innovation hubs across the United States, beginning with Silicon Valley to Washington, DC, Boston and Austin. Its mission is to execute transformative projects with scalable impact across the joint force; accelerate the adoption of commercial technology, from AI, autonomy, cyber, human systems and space, to strengthen the National Security Innovation base (NSIB).
SpinLaunch is reimagining space launch by revisiting fundamental physics and leveraging proven industrial technologies to create a system that accelerates the launch vehicle to hypersonic speeds using ground-based energy. Applying the initial performance boost from a terrestrial-based launch platform will enable the company to provide a substantially lower cost launch to orbit, multiple times per day, with no negative impact on our environment. SpinLaunch was founded in 2014, by Jonathan Yaney, a 1,000+ hour pilot and serial entrepreneur with 15 years’ experience founding companies in aerospace, Fortune 500 consulting, IT, and construction industries.