State squashes plan for satellite catapult at Pohue Bay

HONOLULU — A California-based company will not be installing its proposed Hawaii satellite catapult at Pohue Bay on the southern tip of the Big Island.

The company, SpinLaunch Inc., wanted to launch satellites into space using a catapult.


But after community opposition, a Senate committee changed wording of a special revenue bond that would have allowed the project to be built at the bay, Hawaii News Now reported Saturday.

The project can now be housed at an unspecified area other than the bay.

Democrat Sen. Glenn Wakai, D-Oahu, toured their facility and said catapult technology is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional launch techniques. Wakai said he still believes Hawaii can play host to the technology, just not at Pohue Bay.

“This is one of those areas where Hawaii really should take advantage of our location and then bring in good quality jobs,” he said. “I heard from the people in Ka’u. I don’t want to give residents the impression that any future launch site was destined for their neighborhood.”


Demand for facilities such as the proposed satellite catapult is high, Hawaii News Now reported. There are 10,000 small satellites waiting to be launched, the TV station reported.

Lawmakers said such demand could bring anywhere from $10 million to $15 million to the state per launch.