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Copenhagen Suborbitals: Low Budget Rocketeers - Go Denmark!

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The 'HEAT' booster and the one-man spacecraft from Copenhagen Suborbitals

(4 pix) 

 Did I really just say 'Go Denmark'? That's never happened before. Not that I'm anti Denmark or anything, I've just never felt the need to cheer them on... especially since I've gotten a good idea of how many calories they hide inside those in the oh-so-delicious pastry thingys they've been tempting us with. But, after getting a load of what Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen have been working on for the last 5 years or so with their non-profit, donation funded and volunteer supported space quest called Copenhagen Suborbitals, I'm cheering the little Scandinavian country on.

 The rocket illustrated above is their current generation booster called HEAT, for Hybrid Exo Atmospheric Transporter, with their MSC (micro space craft) called Tycho Brahe taking up about the top third of the rocket system. The one-man MSC has a glass globe top that will allow the occupant a pretty fabulous view of the ride, which might help to keep extreme claustrophobia from setting in since the whole package is just over 24 inches in diameter. From what I can tell, the basic goal with this project is the simplest and least expensive way of being able to say you went to space. It looks like it might make the Virgin Galactic operation seem like a mission to Mars by comparison, but it will still be a pretty amazing accomplishment if they can pull it all off. Actually, both space systems are designed to achieve a height that's a little over 100 km in altitude, which is often considered the edge of space, and translates to over 328,000 feet. But the Copenhagen Suborbitals ride will more like a hyper (galactic?) rollercoaster ride than a more traditional space journey.


The approximately 30' long rocket with crash test dummy in the MSC (micro space craft)

 They have a launch of the HEAT-1X booster scheduled for a couple days from now on August 30th, tho the launch window is actually set for August 30 thru September 13, 2010. I don't know if there will be any live coverage of this unmanned test flight, but you might wanna keep in touch with just in case... currently, there's a countdown clock on the main page. It's also important to note that this test flight is intended to go no higher than 30 km or about 100,000 feet, and that's not into space.


Current testing is being done on the HEAT-1X booster, manned flight projected at HEAT 4

 This is certainly an interesting time in the history of mankind as we are beginning to see a lot of non- government, non-military, manned space projects. I think it's encouraging on one hand as it shows the spirit to explore and 'just go out and make things happen' is still alive and well. On the other hand tho, it's a little concerning as eventually we're gonna have people with the ability to get to space that shouldn't have that ability. Ultimately tho, I didn't see anyway we can stop it, so I guess the best thing to do is just sit back and watch the show!

 The floating launch pad and the homebuilt sub used to transport the pad

  It appears that one of the ways these guys are keeping the overall cost insanely low for the entire project is that they aren't using gimbaled engine thrust to create stability, but rather, just like the bazillion Estes model rockets I flew when I was young, the aft mounted fins are used to generate aerodynamic stability. It's mostly a point-it-toward-the-open-area and push the fire button kind of deal here. I'm thinking that'll actually work just fine, but obviously the system will be severely limited in its ability to grow, as active guidance systems would be essential for flights that would go beyond the safe boundaries of a nice big open area like an ocean. 

 In all, it's pretty exciting stuff, especially for a couple guys from Denmark working on donated funds! I hope their upcoming test launch is successful and they can keep on the trail that will lead to putting a for-real live person on top of that booster. If it does go well, I'll follow up with a deeper look on how they're making all this work... til then, I think I could get used to yelling 'Go Denmark'!


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Reader Comments (2)

Space travel is not easy. This post is really surprise for me. I want to go Denmark now for this purpose. It is great technology. I like this information which has described in the blog.

June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBoligsalg

Talking about the future mod of transportation!
Having yourself braced on a rocket like that is clearly dangerous.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEcommerce

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