Spinlaunch's Suborbital Accelerator.

SpinLaunch is developing a new, cleaner method of launching satellites into space: its vacuum-­sealed centrifuge spins a payload, then hurls it into the sky. Once at altitude, a traditional engine ignites, propelling the object into orbit. Because the payload is already airborne when the engine lights, the process requires far less fuel than typical launches. The company, led by CEO Jonathan Yaney, had its first suborbital flight in November, and plans to conduct up to 30 more over the next few months.

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Write to Jeffrey Kluger at jeffrey.kluger@time.com.