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SpinLaunch raises $40M for space catapult

SpinLaunch hangar
SpinLaunch’s hangar is home to a vehicle that’s designed to be launched from a catapult. (SpinLaunch Photo)

A stealthy Silicon Valley startup called SpinLaunch says it’s raised a total of $40 million from a high-profile array of investors to get a space catapult system ready for launch by 2022.

The company, founded in 2015 by CEO Jonathan Yaney, has been working on an electric-powered kinetic energy launch system that starts by whipping the vehicle around on a centrifuge, then catapults it spaceward at hypersonic speeds.

“Applying the initial performance boost from a terrestrial-based launch platform enables us to lower the cost by orders of magnitude and launch many times per day,” Yaney said today in a news release.

SpinLaunch’s funding includes a newly closed $35 million Series A funding round by an investment syndicate including Airbus Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Kleiner Perkins.

The syndicate joins institutional investors including Lauder Partners, ATW Partners, Bolt and Starlight Ventures to bring total funding to $40 million. The funds will be used to scale up the team and technology, SpinLaunch said.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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