Move over Elon Musk and Burt Rutan. Here are a couple of adventurous Danish inventors who are willing to put their money, and their lives, where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
Or to put it more exactly; The Amazing Flying Danes:
It might not look much. In fact, it looks practically suicidal.
But two Danish inventors hope to launch the world’s first amateur-built rocket for human space travel.
The homemade rocket is the brainchild of Danish firm Copenhagen Suborbitals, headed by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen.
It is due to launch from a submarine in the Baltic Sea on August 30th and, if successful, they will repeat it with a human passenger on board as soon as possible.
Madsen hopes to be inside the single-passenger capsule named Tycho Brahe for a manned flight in the near future if all goes well next week.
The team has been building their rocket since about 2004 and have been doing so without any national funding.
Copenhagen Suborbitals is a non-profit organistaion, based entirely on sponsors, donations and volunteers.
Denmark would become only the fourth nation to send a human into space.
On their website, Madsen and von Bengtson say: ‘We are working fulltime to develop a series of suborbital space vehicles – designed to pave the way for manned space flight on a micro size spacecraft.’
The rocket they use has been nicknamed HEAT, which stands for Hybrid Exo Atmospheric Transporter. It as around 9 metres high and uses liquid oxygen as fuel.
The booster was successfully test-fired in February and May 2010.
The HEAT booster rocket will burn for about 60 seconds, providing 40k N of thrust. They have calculated that this will make it tolerable for humans to travel in an upright position in the module at the top of the rocket.
Madsen and von Bengtson said: ‘The mission has a 100% peaceful purpose and is not in any way involved in carrying explosive, nuclear, biological and chemical payloads.
‘We intend to share all our technical information as much as possible, within the laws of EU-export control.’
Before the spacecraft reaches zero gravity, the booster system will be jettisoned.
It will then be slowed using a drogue parachute followed by three main parachutes. Finally the spacecraft will touchdown in water.
You have got to me sh!ttin’ me!
This guy must have cojones made of stainless steel!
I admire someone who puts their money where their mouth is, but this guy is willing to put his hide on the line!
I sure hope he makes it!
If he does, the Danes will be the fourth people to put humans into space. Totally unexpected.