Congrats to Copenhagen Suborbitals! On Friday, a group of amateur rocketeers successfully launched the world’s first amateur-built rocket made for human space travel. The home-made HEAT-1X rocket with the Tycho Brahe capsule reached an altitude of 2.8 kilometers, launching from its floating ‘Sputnik’ platform in the Baltic Sea off the east coast of the Danish island of Bornholm. The builders, Peter Madsen, Kristian von Bengtson and their team, hoped the craft would fly 15 to 16 kilometers into the sky on its maiden voyage, but they said they would also be happy if it launched at all. And the rocket shot almost straight up in a tremendous milestone for the amateur group which hopes to send people into space on a shoestring.
Below are some great videos, including a “pilot’s point of view” – what the view looked like from the single-passenger capsule where the passenger will stand up and have a full view through a polymer plexiglas-dome so that the person can see and experience the entire ballistic ride.
“The feeling is incredible and we will take everything we have learned home with us,” Madsen told Denmark’s TV2 News. “We are a lot wiser now about how to get a rocket into the air.”
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Copenhagen Suborbitals are doing things differently than other “commercial” space companies: they are open-source, so they are sharing their designs, and they have gotten this far with volunteers and donations.
Last September, the team’s first attempt to launch Heat-1X and Tycho Brahe came to halt when a standard hair-dryer that was being used as part of its construction went failed. But Friday’s successful test flight will enable the group’s next goal, which is to send their rocket and capsule into space, with the eventual goal of sending an even bigger rocket, with a human astronaut inside, 100 kilometers up in a suborbital ride into space.
Heat-1X Tycho Brahe is approximately 9.5 meters high and weighs more than 2,000 kilograms.
Below is the view from the launch platform.