The world's first volunteer-built, not-for-profit passenger rocket funded purely by donations and sponsorships is preparing for launch next week, ticking off a milestone in human spaceflight history. The Danish rocket, known as the Tycho Brahe-1, is slated to launch from a seafaring launch platform in the middle of the Baltic Sea on August 31.
Next week's planned flight won't actually be manned however. A crash-test dummy will helm the rocket in this initial launch so its creators – Copenhagen Suborbitals – can test the safety mechanisms of the rocket as well as to see how a human passenger might respond to the serious g-forces imposed upon him or her by the ascent.
The rocket is aiming for an altitude of nearly half-a-million feet (something like 93 miles) before peaking and beginning its long descent, which will be slowed by parachutes. A GPS tracker will help the team keep tabs on their suborbital vehicle, though they think that they can project the point of splashdown with relative certainty. A boat will be dispatched to retrieve the spacecraft and its test-dummy cargo.
If the test is successful, the team aims to eventually launch a human aboard the rocket, and judging from the looks of the thing it would be one hell of a ride. Unlike other privately developed, for-profit space vehicles, the Tycho Brahe-1 isn't designed to carry much more than a single human in a standing position in the nose of the spacecraft (there is some additional space aboard the craft that could carry scientific tools or commercial goods). But it seems like it would definitely impart the sensation of being launched headlong into the heavens.
that just seems like loads of fun! I really would like one of those miniature subs in the picture also
That miniature submarine is also their own creation. A "home built" submarine to tow their "home built" barge to launch their "home built" space rocket. These guys are living every man-child's dream. May their endeavors soar safe and true.
I just hope they are not showing the passenger launch position about halfway up! Be one heck of a ride on the outside!
that is just awesome seeing people come together to do what their government has been dragging its feet on.
may their rocket reach the heavens and beyond
Judging from the looks of it, I'd say they'll be scouting for volunteers at mental institutions.
"Anyone want to be a Danish?"
I'd volunteer for that ride.
The rocket project sounds really impressive -for 1961. That mini sub harkens back two decades even earlier than that. Okay, the whole point is that these are the doings of hobbyists, not governments. But still. I'm more impressed with the likes of Burt Rutan and Paul McCready, who found new ways to do things, not just smaller ways.
There was a joke about the NASA Space program, the punch line was something like "who in their right mind would fly to the moon on a rocket built by the LOWEST bidders?" Well these guys have topped that, a rocket made by volunteers with donated parts. There are several people I'd like to see volunteer for that ride - but NOT me.
This is great! I'm glad to see that with the impending death of NASA funding for anything, humanity will still be able to make jumps for the stars.
On a different note, I think they better make sure that their ambitious volunteer passenger wears a pair of too-large shoes, so that the swelling from all his blood rushing to his feet doesn't burst the seams. Could be pretty uncomfortable.
It was John Glenn who spoke of sitting in the capsule and not being able to stop thinking about the fact that NASA had given to contract for the rocket to the lowest bidder.
I believe there is an apocryphal story where someone asked him if he was scared.
His response, supposedly, was something to the effect that his anus was puckered so hard you couldn't have pounded a needle up it with a sledgehammer.
No. I'm not a fan of big government. But the simple fact is that Nations have the means and resources to research, explore and find out what CAN be done. Private interests have the spirit to take that and find out what can be done PROFITABLY.
(Then, of course, the private interests sell to governments to idea of weaponizing what they have made. Greed on the one hand meets lust for power on the other. The oft repeated cycle of human history...)
Seriously. Space exploration and travel will take both governmental and private involvement.