Thursday, June 2, 2011

Copenhagen Suborbitals to launch a test rocket on Friday

Credit: Copenhagen Suborbitals

Copenhagen Suborbitals announced today that they have completed all testing and are GO for launch tomorrow of the HEAT 1X rocket and the TYCHO BRAHE spacecraft. Designed and built by two Danish rocketeers Kristian von Bengston and Peter Madsen, the unmanned launch is scheduled at about 3:00pm Danish time. Additional information about the launch including live video can be found here and here. Additional updates from the launch team is also being posted on their Facebook page. Latest reports from the group states that the rocket and the launch platform (Sputnik) has been towed to the launch area located in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Denmark. So far it seems that sea and weather conditions are optimal for the launch.

Overview of the TYCHO BRAHE Spacecraft: Credit: Copenhagen Suborbitals

Credit: Copenhagen Suborbitals

If all goes well tomorrow, the plan is for Peter Madsen to be on the first manned flight sometime in the near future. The eventual goal is to launch paying tourists on this single seat spacecraft on suborbital flights to altitudes of 100 kilometers (62.5 miles). The spacecraft including the astronaut is 3.5 meters long, with a 64cm diameter and a weight of about 300kg. Other data on the spacecraft specifies a 15 mm cork as a heat shield and a "personal parachute for panic egress". From the sketch above it appears that the astronaut will be standing/sitting upright in the small capsule with a clear view through the Plexiglas's dome of the entire ballistic ride. It looks like it will be one wild ride!

PS. I am hoping my wife reads this blog post. IF she does, the yellow lab puppy and the Ducati can be recategorized as a "sure shots".

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