News: Danes One Step Closer to DIY Suborbital Spaceflight

Danes One Step Closer to DIY Suborbital Spaceflight

They've been at it for a few years now, but the crazy group of amateur rocket scientists who call themselves Copenhagen Suborbitals have triumphed over adversity, successfully launching their DIY rocket nearly 2 miles into the sky last Friday. The privately funded, non-profit aims to one day send human beings into suborbital space on the cheap, without the need of government budgets and administration.

A couple miles may not seem like a lot, especially since 62 miles above the Earth's surface is widely considered to be the boundary of space. But for a group of finely trained Danish volunteers on a shoestring budget (for spaceflight), it's quite an accomplishment.

Engine start & liftoff; hot gases & water vapor enveloping launch platform Sputnik. Photo: Thomas Pedersen

The successful launch of the homemade HEAT-1X rocket took place from a platform floating in the Baltic Sea last Friday morning, June 3rd. The booster carried a space capsule dubbed Tycho Brahe (everyone's favorite, noseless Danish astronomer), which carried one test flight dummy in its see-through nosecone, to simulate the one space traveler it can hold. After reaching an altitude of nearly 2 miles, its parachute deployed and it fell back into the sea. It suffered minor damage upon landing, but was largely recovered.

Check out some of the amazing video footage from the test flight:

(1) HEAT1X / Tycho Brahe Inaugural Flight — Pilot's POV , (2) HEAT1X / Tycho Brahe Inaugural Flight — Upper Service Platform POV , (3) HEAT1X / Tycho Brahe Inaugural Flight — Sputnik Aft Starboard Pontoon POV, (4) HEAT1X / Tycho Brahe Launch — Stabilized SLR Photo Sequence , (5) HEAT1X / Tycho Brahe Launch: Recovery Bravo — Stabilized Camcorder Footage, (6) Full Video of HEAT1X / Tycho Brahe Launch and Flight (in Danish)

For a non-profit group, this is quite a success and a big step forward to their endgame of inexpensive manned spaceflight. Since the start of Copenhagen Suborbitals in 2008, Danes Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen claimed to have spent only $60,000 a year on the ambitious venture, due to simple materials and low-cost production methods.

Kristian von Bengtson (left) and Peter Madsen, founders of Copenhagen Suborbitals. Photo: Bo Tornvig
Engine start & liftoff; hot gases & water vapor enveloping launch platform Sputnik. Photo: Bo Tornvig
The HEAT1X and Tycho Brahe in flight after a victorious launch on June 3rd, 2011. Photo: Bo Tornvig
Successful recovery of the spaceship Tycho Brahe by RIB crew from MHV Hjort. Photo: Sonny Windstrup
Successful recovery of the spacecraft Tycho Brahe after the launch on June 3rd. Photo: Bo Tornvig

You can find more photos and videos, along with data and reports, over at the Copenhagen Suborbitals website.

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1 Comment

:D Cool! :D Didn't knew my country did cool stuff like that :D Thanks for the wonderment!

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