Denmark, one of the countries where the bold Vikings first sailed from the trade, explore, and on accession raid their neighbors may well become the next to put a man in space. The project is not run by any government, nor even a commercial enterprise.
According to Universe Today:
“It’s something like the movie “Astronaut Farmer,” but this is for real. And it’s in Danish. Copenhagen’s Suborbital headed by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, hope to launch the world’s first amateur-built rocket for human space travel. As of this writing, the launch countdown clock on the Copenhagen’s Suborbitals’ website reads 7 days and 12 hours, which would put the launch on August 30 at about 1300 GMT. This upcoming flight will be an unmanned test flight, but if all goes well, Madsen hopes to be inside the single-passenger capsule named Tycho Brahe for a manned flight in the near future. They have a sea-launch site on the Baltic Sea near Bornholm, Denmark, and their HEAT 1-X rocket is ready to go.”
The HEAT 1-X is a nine meter high, single stage liquid fueled rocket. The engine, which has already undergone extensive ground testing, will provide 40 KN of thrust for sixty seconds, exerting 3 Gs on the single passenger who will be riding in the Tycho Brahe space capsule in the upright position.
The Tycho Brahe has a polymer/Plexiglas dome that will provide the passenger a full view of its flight. The plan is to launch the space craft in a suborbital trajectory, sending the Tycho Brahe into space for a brief few minutes, before it descends, deploying a parachute for a soft landing.
The planned flight of the Tycho Brahe represents something new in the history of space flight. Government space efforts have been motivated by national security, science, and economic concerns. Commercial space enterprises have been developing space craft with a view towards making a profit. The Tycho Brahe, on the other hand, seems to be motivated by the desire to fly a man into space for the sheer glory of it.
The proposed Danish space flight is no more complicated than an effort to climb a high mountain or to dive into a deep, ocean crevice. If all goes well, a Danish man will fly into space soon because, like George Mallory and Mount Everest, it is there. If the Danish astronaut survives his trip, he will be able to boast about it forever, the first man to go beyond the Earth, in the great tradition of the Norse explorer, Leif Erikson.
For all of those who have grown weary of waiting for NASA or even SpaceX to provide a ride into space, the folks working on the Tycho Brahe should prove an inspiration. It certainly suggests that there are indeed more worlds to conquer, even if this world has been all explored and experienced.
Source: Danish Amateurs Hope To Launch Suborbital Rocket Next Week,Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today, August 24th, 2010