Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Video: Amateur Rocketeers Launch Suborbital Rocket

Video: Amateur Rocketeers Launch Suborbital Rocket: "

Two amateur Danish rocketeers named Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen have launched a homemade unmanned rocket, Heat-1X Tycho Brahe.

The 30-foot-tall rocket blasted off from its floating launch pad near the Danish Baltic Island of Bornholm on June 3. The duo hoped to see the rocket achieve an altitude of 15 to 16 kilometers (about 9.5 miles) but managed only about 8.5 kilometers (5.2 miles).

For Madsen and von Bengtson, though, any altitude was an encouraging result — especially after the disappointment of the team’s failed launch in September. A cheap hairdryer failed to heat up a frozen valve and stopped the rocket from launching.

The team, which calls itself Copenhagen Suborbitals, hopes to one day launch a human into space. The group received around 50,000 euros ($72,925) in funding from sponsors, and private donors for the launch.

That shoestring budget allowed Suborbitals to build the blaster, a parachute system, heat shields, communications and the all-important cockpit. Whoever is lucky enough to one day ride the rocket into space would be squeezed into a cramped and confined tube. For the test launch, however, a dummy had the honor.

Photo and video: Copenhagen Suborbitals


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