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Non-Profit Space Rocket Launching In a Week

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the diy-to-the-stars dept.

Space 127

Plammox writes "A non-profit suborbital space endeavor lead by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen is trying to put a man in space. The first test of the boosters and space craft in combination with the sea launch platform will take place this week. The catch? All of this is a non-profit project based on voluntary labor and sponsors. How will they get the launch platform out in the middle of the Baltic sea to perform the test? With the founder's home-built submarine pushing it, of course."

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127 comments

I love these guys (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338178)

Check out the spacecraft: http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com/spacecraft.php [copenhagen...bitals.com]

Sven the crash test dummy is in for a wild ride!

The pace at which they've managed to do this work is phenomenal.

Re:I love these guys (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338434)

Definitely, a guy must have steel balls to ride that! Even more so considering that their testing budget is rather limited, like the rest of the project.

Re:I love these guys (2, Funny)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338614)

I'm particularly impressed to note that they left his hands free to reach for the "vomit bag"... :-)

is the serial number of the rocket 00000 ? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33340378)

where did they source imoplex-g in 2010 ? I mean, have you read the MSDS for that stuff?!

Re:I love these guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338800)

why does it sound to me like 1950's space research?

On the other hand, it means individuals are close to mastering trans continental missiles, and that worries me a bit

Re:I love these guys (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338882)

Why do so many people have a grasp of rocketry as "stuff other people have already done". When you think about learning guitar do you ever find yourself saying "nah, they already did that in the '50s".

Re:I love these guys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33340392)

Yeah, but playing the guitar is useful. Manned space flight was a stunt then, it's a stunt now. It serves no purpose whatsoever, except to give hardons to nerds and deluded Space Nutters who think we'll be mining asteroids next.

Re:I love these guys (4, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341204)

Yeah, but playing the guitar is useful. Manned space flight was a stunt then, it's a stunt now. It serves no purpose whatsoever, except to give hardons to nerds and deluded Space Nutters who think we'll be mining asteroids next.

So you think giving hardons is useless? I can tell you that a whole industry is built on it! :-)

On a more serious note: Where do you suggest we get our minerals from when we have used up all supplies of some element found here on earth, if not through space mining?

Re:I love these guys (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339184)

why does it sound to me like 1950's space research?

Because they are doing it the way true pioneers do. Not by requesting grants from some big government and untangling miles of red tape. Not by licking some politicians ass helping him get a few votes subcontracting some part to a company in his district.

it means individuals are close to mastering trans continental missiles, and that worries me a bit

Why? Why would a hobbyist's dream worry you more than some dictator's nightmare?

Better live in a society where people have constructive hobbies like this than in a society where the only encouraged activity is to memorize some long dead prophet's words.

Re:I love these guys (1, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339716)

why does it sound to me like 1950's space research?

Because they are doing it the way true pioneers do. Not by requesting grants from some big government and untangling miles of red tape. Not by licking some politicians ass helping him get a few votes subcontracting some part to a company in his district.

Because NASA and the US Air Force in the 1950s were the home of rugged anti-government individualism, free of all political pressure?

Sorry, what?

Re:I love these guys (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341594)

No, he's saying NASA weren't true pioneers because Big Government. Doncha know.

Re:I love these guys (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341992)

No one has done any serious work on (relatively) large hybrid rockets before. In that way it is ground breaking.

It may turn out that the reason why no one has done it before is that they don't work, of course. We will see in a few weeks.

Re:I love these guys (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338854)

I read that as clean out at first.

To boldly go where no non profit has gone before.

You love them? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338960)

So slashdotting them was a good idea why?

Re:I love these guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33339526)

Server melted... Help them, buy stuff here [cafepress.com] .

A little background on the guy (4, Interesting)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338190)

The project leader, Peter Madsen, reportedly commutes to work every morning in his miniture submarine [youtube.com] .

Re:A little background on the guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33341266)

... do they have wifi on board?

Wow (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338232)

I hope this does not turn out to be SPAM in a can.

Re:Wow (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338348)

Didn't you listen to Yeager? Its always SPAM in a can.

Home built (1)

Kireas (1784888) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338268)

Home built sub? Hopefully not home built boosters, home built life-support...where would you draw the line! Personally, I draw it at home built McDonalds. It's never quite the same.

Re:Home built (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338396)

If you build it properly does it matter where you build it?

Re:Home built (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338470)

It matters where you test it - and how willing are you to break N custom-built pieces to ensure N+1 and onwards won't crack under pressure.

Say what you want about greedy manufacturers trying to lower costs, but proper QA requires economies of scale - there is a reason prototypes ended up in museums and not flying to the moon.

Re:Home built (2, Funny)

Plammox (717738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338900)

In my experience, the primary goal of QA is to generate documentation to prove the project owners did due diligence, and then in a distant second place, to actually find bugs and faults. Did I mention they use a $15 hair dryer to keep some of their valves warm at high altitudes? It will be interesting how far they get using this approach.

Re:Home built (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33340450)

Yeah...homebuilt submarine....

Checkout the videoes in my channel:
http://www.youtube.com/jbeckj

Re:Home built (1)

0x000000 (841725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33340792)

Why doesn't this have more points? I wish I had mod points just to set the record straight!

Good luck to you guys!

Re:Home built (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33341012)

I guess they need a home build web server now...

Suborbital (-1, Troll)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338272)

Even though it's a nice achievement, a suborbital rocket is basically a glorified carnival ride, a couple of magnitudes easier than fully orbital.

Re:Suborbital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338314)

Even though it's a nice achievement, a suborbital rocket is basically a glorified carnival ride, a couple of magnitudes easier than fully orbital.

But not much less dangerous.

Re:Suborbital (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338466)

But not much less dangerous

Orbital is much more dangerous. Re-entry at hypersonic speeds is not an easy problem to solve.

Re:Suborbital (1, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338534)

But not much less dangerous

Orbital is much more dangerous. Re-entry at hypersonic speeds is not an easy problem to solve.

I don't agree. Rocks do it all the time but admittedly pull a lot of gees. Build a carbon fibre sphere, coat it with an ablative heat shield. Tell the occupants to slide around inside so the heat is shared across the surface. Build a couple of doors with explosive devices which can open them even if the heat shield has melted them closed. Punch out at five km altitude and land with conventional parachutes.

If you want to get complex build a double cone: shallow cone with head shield on the bottom. Steep cone on the top. You need a reaction control system to point the blunt side forwards during aerobraking.

Re:Suborbital (2, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338612)

Even if you find the right mix of materials for the heat shield, you'll still need to get the angle just right. Too steep, and the g-forces will kill you, the shield will get extremely hot, and it will be subjected to huge pressures. Too shallow, and the heat shield will be subjected to heat for much longer, so it has time to conduct through.

Jumping out with a regular parachute on your back requires an accurate landing. It's not so much fun in the middle of the Atlantic with nobody near your location.

Re:Suborbital (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338644)

Sure but the bit about hypersonic flight is relatively easy if you are going to follow a ballistic trajectory in a capsule. No where near as hard as in something with wings.

Re:Suborbital (1)

fadethepolice (689344) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339462)

Why do spacecraft have to enter the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds? Can't we use thrusters to slide on in like an old school vet? I've always wondered that..... particularly with a craft with wings.? Match the rotational velocity of the earth or something..

Re:Suborbital (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339556)

Say you burn all your fuel to get into orbit. Thats a velocity change of about 8 km/s. To get down under power you would need to change your speed by 8 km/s again, but all the fuel you need for that would have to be carried up in the first place.

A good launch vehicle has a mass ratio of 1/10, meaning that roughly 90% of the launch mass is going to be fuel. If your fuel mass for landing is the same as the the fuel mass just to get the empty vehicle into orbit, the total mass of the vehicle at launch will increase by a factor of 10.

Its just impractical. To land on any large planet you need to use aerobraking.

Re:Suborbital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338626)

You, sir, are a prime example of why I cringe when I read Slashdot comments.

Re:Suborbital (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338658)

Why? Entry vehicles have been invented many times for many purposes. A vehicle was built to enter Jupiter at 50 km/s. As early as the 1950s simple entry vehicles were used to return film from spy satellites.

Re:Suborbital (2, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338692)

I was talking about entry vehicles with a live astronaut whom you don't want to turn into toast or jelly.

Re:Suborbital (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338974)

What about a jelly doughnaught?

Re:Suborbital (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339650)

I was talking about entry vehicles with a live astronaut whom you don't want to turn into toast or jelly.

Yes, because extremely heat and light sensitive film was always turned into jelly before it could be handed off to analysts. Likely the only different considerations are life support and g-forces.

Re:Suborbital (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338776)

Micheal Smith as in brother M... Smith and sister M...... Smith?
Small internet if so.

Re:Suborbital (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338810)

Not sure what reference that is.

Re:Suborbital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33339408)

Orbital velocity is more than 7 kilometers per second. Suppose your capsule weighs 1 metric ton and you decelerate at a constant 1G. That means your reentry takes t=v/a=(7000m/s)/(9.81m/s^2)=714s or just under 12 minutes. Let's see how much energy a 1 ton vehicle must lose in those 12 minutes: Kinetic energy is 0.5*m*v^2. That's 0.5*1000kg*(7000m/s)^2=24.5*10^9kg*m^2*s^2. 24.5 Gigajoule in about 12 minutes means you need to lose 34 Megajoule per second. 1 Joule is 1 Wattsecond, so 1 Joule per second is 1 Watt. Do you really think you can construct a vehicle which can constantly dissipate 34MW through the surface area of a small car?

Re:Suborbital (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338480)

And a couple of magnitude harder than what any non-profit ever did.

Re:Suborbital (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338602)

basically a glorified carnival ride, a couple of magnitudes easier than fully orbital.

Considering they are launching it from a sea launch platform they built, which will be towed to sea with the submarine they built, I'd say this is several orders of magnitude more awesome than what anybody else ever did.

Let's see, how many orders of magnitude harder things have you ever done? Links, please.

Re:Suborbital (0)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338628)

I didn't say it wasn't difficult to do. It's like climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen, or crossing Antarctica by foot. Excellent jobs, but not terribly useful in the end.

Re:Suborbital (4, Interesting)

Plammox (717738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338848)

Then consider this: The excitement of this single project will probably make many more kids in Denmark want to enter science than any previous marketing driven campaign for recruiting engineering students. It shows the awesome feeling of putting theory into practice and how far you can get if you have one determined team of talented folks.

Re:Suborbital (0, Troll)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339062)

"Then consider this: The excitement of this single project will probably make many more kids in Denmark want to enter science than any previous marketing driven campaign for recruiting engineering students"

Yeah, right. Those kids will have forgotten about it by the time they're through high school, when they have to decide what to do with their lives that's actually doable and profitable.

And now let's suppose "many more kids" in Denmark decide to enter science because of this: where are the jobs for them once they've earned their degrees (those few who make it, science is hard, science is not for wimps and geeks)? How does busting your brain off in Physics for years to take a McJob feel?

Much as I wish private space enterprise good luck, it won't change the shape of a nation. Unless Denmark - or, better, ESA - decide to invest big bucks in space and bet on the long-term returns, chasing dreams won't put food on the table.

Re:Suborbital (1)

Plammox (717738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339312)

How does busting your brain off in Physics for years to take a McJob feel?"

:) Hmmm... Is this your own experience projected? If someone is busting their brains off in Physics, then maybe this field isn't for them? Science and engineering certainly isn't fun for everyone. This is about spurring excitement in kids about building things with their own hands and come up with practical solutions to the problems they encounter. Secondly, I think you're taking things too literally here, this is not just about making kids enter space engineering (even though there are a fair number of jobs in Denmark for ESA subcontractors and the like). There are plenty of other machines to build that go FOOOOOOOM.

Re:Suborbital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33341028)

(Not GP)

Get real. It's OK that these guys want to play at being action-man etc., but the whole "unrelated but excitable bystanders defending pointless adventure tourism by claiming that it "inspires" some nebulous cohort of easily-inspired / potential-filled kids that will suddenly want to grow up and be valuable members of high-tech society (engineer, chemist, physicist, what have you) because they once saw a guy pogo-stick naked across Mongolia, AND that the jobs for these kids won't be outsourced to Elbonia by then by their corporate overlords (all marketing, law or 'innovation consultant' educated, not science)" is getting old.

Also, SA sucks ass and GBS doubly so >_

Re:Suborbital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33341814)

Hell yeah, why don't we just all lay down to die instead of using our lives for something fun and/or useful. Globalization really got to you didn't it?

Re:Suborbital (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338858)

a suborbital rocket is basically a glorified carnival ride

"Please do not open the safety belt, keep your hands inside the cart and remember to take and hold a big breath before getting out of atmosphere. Oh, and cover your face on the way down, so it won't melt."

Zing! (5, Funny)

Loktar Ogar (960557) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338292)

Nonprofit space exploration? Is there any other kind?

Re:Zing! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338356)

Its taken this long for NASA to perfect it.

Re:Zing! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338402)

Its taken this long for NASA to perfect it.

NASA, nor the Russians took this long to get a man into space.

NASA did however take this long to maintain themselves without innovating or taking risk, this is why the private sector projects are now spurring up.

Re:Zing! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338550)

Nonprofit space exploration? Is there any other kind?

Some day, there will be. For example, asteroid mining companies exploring where to find lucrative asteroids to mine.

Re:Zing! (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338654)

Was that a Amiga game or C64?

Re:Zing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33341032)

Utterly delusional. The amount of energy and resources you'd need to get there in the first place are monumental. If you *have* that amount of stuff, why do you need to go?

Re:Zing! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341756)

You are most probably not going to mine for energy sources in space. You are going to mine for rare elements. You can have plenty of energy, and yet run out of rare elements. And most of the infrastructure needed would remain in space forever, so except for the initial cost, you'd have quite moderate resource need.

Open Source it! (1)

arigram (1202657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338426)

I suggest we launch a campaign to ask the design to become open sourced so we can do battle over the license and split it among many spacefaring distributions, thus have our own version of Star Wars

Re:Open Source it! (2)

Plammox (717738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338592)

In fact, they're ready to share the design details openly. They even call it an open source rocket. Let's see if anyone wants them after the first test.

Re:Open Source it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338600)

Although, I like the humour of your post it's a bit late. The design is already open-sourced, as will most of the test and flight data be.

Re:Open Source it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33339132)

Screw you captain, I'm forking this spaceship.

Good thread about this over at SA (5, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338430)

I caught this story on Fark, and they linked to a really good thread over on the Something Awful forums with posts directly from these people.
We've made the world's amateur largest space rocket [somethingawful.com]

If you don't want to read all 17 pages, just skim through looking for posts by user frumpykvetchbot.

This is completely awesome, and I wish them the best of luck with the test launch this weekend. :D

Re:Good thread about this over at SA (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33338954)

Or use this link [somethingawful.com] to only display posts by that one user.

Re:Good thread about this over at SA (3, Interesting)

IronDragon (74186) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339028)

There's another thread of interest in there, involving an organization that aims to become the "sourceforge.net" of aerospace engineering. Their site should be ready within another week or so, as a collaborative development environment, skill-matching social network, and space science/engineering knowledgebase.

It also happens, their first official act will be a grant of approximately 5000$ towards Copenhagen Suborbitals. We have raised about 1500$ so far.

http://osm.chipin.com/osm-jul-2010

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3335167

The "Open Space Movement" supports Copenhagen Suborbitals.

Next project. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338524)

After they successfully completed the task of getting a man in space, they'll start planning the next step: Figuring out how to return him back to earth. :-)

Just noted this: (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338542)

Just noted this:

The mission has a 100% peacefull purpose and is not in any way involved in carrying explosive, nuclear, biological and chemical payloads.

If they want to put a man into space, how can they avoid biological payloads?

Re:Just noted this: (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338558)

Just noted this:

The mission has a 100% peacefull purpose and is not in any way involved in carrying explosive, nuclear, biological and chemical payloads.

If they want to put a man into space, how can they avoid biological payloads?

Maybe he's going to be sterilised first.

It will work, but ... (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338576)

There seems to be a good reason why astronauts sit in a different position than the vertical one!

Re:It will work, but ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338618)

I think I'd want to be wearing my bike helmet at least. And a G suit.

Re:It will work, but ... (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338812)

Keep in mind, this isn't the final vehicle design. This is just the first prototype, and they are sending up a crash test dummy. In the Something Awful thread I linked above, they talk about redesigning to make the position more feasible for a living person to go up in. The final rocket design is larger than the one they are preparing to test launch, which will have more room for better positions.

As for G-suits, I think they mentioned using the kind of flight suit that Chinese MiG pilots use. I'm sure a sealed helmet and an air-supply will also be included.

Just to be slightly pedantic... (2, Insightful)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338598)

Many NASA missions were "non-profit".

Big Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33339008)

Whether you like it or not, NASA is funded through the coercive power of government. You don't have a choice in whether they get your money. These guys, on the other hand, are funded 100% by voluntary means. You DO choose for yourself whether to support them. That's a fundamental difference, making these guys apples, and NASA oranges.

Re:Big Difference (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341740)

Whenever I go into an air and space museum it indeed makes me very happy to pause and reflect how angry some people get that NASA research is government funded. If you don't like your tax money going to space exploration, apply the free market principles you love so well and move to somalia.

The difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33342086)

I didn't say whether I do or do not approve of NASA being funded through coercion. What I will say is that when a group of people can accomplish something through voluntary means, it is inherently more worthy of respect than if they had accomplished the same thing via coercive means. How can it not be? Voluntary association is the essence of people working together to achieve a common goal, rather than people working together (i.e. forking it over) because they are threatened with coercion.

Whether you will admit it or not, every single thing NASA has accomplished through coercion would have eventually been accomplished through voluntary means. It's already happening. The only thing coercive funding in space exploration achieved that voluntary funding could not is the timeline. In other words, they merely achieved it sooner rather than later, because 50 years ago nobody was willing to fund space exploration through voluntary means.

Re:Just to be slightly pedantic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33339222)

The "NGO" part is implied, but point taken.

Re:Just to be slightly pedantic... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339226)

Many NASA missions were "non-profit".

Only in direct monetary terms. Many politicians got votes from NASA projects. If you plot the geographic locations of NASA subcontractors you'll see they are spread all over the USA, every one gets a piece of that pork barrel.

Re:Just to be slightly pedantic... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341456)

If you add non-monetary profits, then this one also gets profit: The people doing it get wider recognition and certainly an ego boost, provided they succeed (but not succeeding usually implies no profit anyway).

Re:Just to be slightly pedantic... (1)

john.r.strohm (586791) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341730)

This is a common misconception, fuelled by people who really hate spaceflight.

The United States (and the world) made HUGE profits on the space program, even after funding Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, from the savings from improved weather prediction (and, in particular, hurricane tracking and landfall location prediction).

We built the boosters, we built the satellites, we saved enough on people not getting killed that the rest of the program was free, in fact immensely profitable.

There is a REASON why the 1960s were some of the most prosperous years on record for the world.

amazing (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338610)

this is freaking awesome.
make it open source !!!!!!

Re:amazing-- Open Source? (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33340776)

FYI, it is. They've even released the blueprints for this thing under an open source license (I don't know which one... the site is down at the moment) and are also planning on sharing any data they've received from the flights including performance data under similar licenses.

Be careful for what you ask... as you might just get it.

Take those plans and get your own team together to build another one!

I am not man enough for that ride (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338616)

Damn, that riding position reminds me of being stuck in an MRI machine. Between the that cramped arms at your side position to the openness of the canopy around your head its going to take someone with extreme mental fortitude to take the ride.

http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com/spacecraft.php [copenhagen...bitals.com]

More info (4, Informative)

UniqueElectron (1807422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338904)

More pics from saturday here: http://ing.dk/artikel/111189-se-den-danske-rumraket-blive-soesat [ing.dk]

They have been running a blog since the beginning on ing.dk (in danish only, unfortunately). Openness is key to the project, that's how they attract the donations that make up all funding.

The astronaut sitting upright is a key part of the design. The spaceship is 60cm in diameter. If he lies down the spaceship needs to be much wider, around 2 metres, and then require a much larger booster rocket.

They aim at a constant acceleration of 4G, which is not very much for a rocket, but this is to make it liveable in the upright position.

Another key part of the design is that it is a hybrid rocket, which has high power, is controllable, and is almost without dangers compared to traditional liquid and solid fuel rockets.

The fuel is actually some rubber substance (not entirely unlike tyre rubber), with liquid oxygen being pumped through to make it burn at high temps. Totally harmless substances, except when you ignite them, produces great thrust, and is even variable, so they can just turn it off if something goes wrong.

Until now they have only been doing static booster tests (all successful). The upcoming launch is the very first flight test. They only aim at going to some 20 km's altitude. The eventual goal is to replace Sven the test dummy with Peter Madsen, and thrust him to above 100 km's - and get him down safely.

Re:More info (1)

rundstykke (645735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339472)

And pictures here [flickr.com] and hell of a lot [flickr.com] more here...

If you like it, please, donate (5, Interesting)

roger_pasky (1429241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338928)

I'm proud to be a donor, and this is one of the best expenditures I've ever done.

Once I knew about them one year ago (through Slashdot, by the way) I told my wife: "If I stop being a rocket modelling fan forever, will you let me give them the money I planned to spend on rocket models for the rest of my life? It could be the way to be part of a really big thing".

And she said: "Ok, but I don't want to know if he dies or not".

I think it's a fair deal, so I gave them a huge amount of money and I won't tell her about the final result.

Re:If you like it, please, donate (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339202)

I think it's a fair deal, so I gave them a huge amount of money and I won't tell her about the final result.

Ironically, that's the same deal NASA has been operating under for decades.

*rimshot* thank you, I'm here all week, tip your waitress.

Re:If you like it, please, donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33340644)

"I told my wife: "If I stop being a rocket modelling fan forever, will you let me give them the money I planned to spend"

Wow. Did you have to go on all fours and beg like a slave too? Man up. Your money, you decide. Sheez, what a bunch of pussy-whipped fags around here.

Re:If you like it, please, donate (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341844)

I expect she will get to know the result anyway. Unless she's living under a stone and never watches news.

DIY bragging rights (3, Interesting)

ghostlibrary (450718) | more than 3 years ago | (#33338986)

Okay, now I'm jealous. I used to think I was DIY for building my own satellite (Project Calliope [projectcalliope.com] ), but... man, I'm using someone else's rocket instead of building my own. I feel so old fashioned. The Copenhagen group are totally awesome!

submarine push (1)

qe2e! (1141401) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339116)

Just pointing out the word choice of push. It's a frikken submarine and a rocket platform. Also, 3 chip's challenge

Hard part: 'and returning him safely to the Earth' (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339150)

(in the words of JFK) as even DIY astronauts want to live to tell the tale of

trying to put a man in space

ICBM anyone? (1)

Wormfoud (1749176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339216)

Not to rain on the parade... So, what are the military applications for this missile, I mean rocket, design? Is there any information here we would not want some smaller, more radical, country to possess? Could the passenger space hold a big canister of some chemical or biological agent you would rather not meet up with? - Paranoid in Michigan

Re:ICBM anyone? (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339626)

It could hold about as much as the trunk in a generic sedan, but is less accurate and easier to track. What's your point?

Re:ICBM anyone? (1)

Wormfoud (1749176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339834)

It is harder to stop a rocket at the border and ask for papers. Oh, BTW could you pop that space capsule?

Re:ICBM anyone? (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341734)

Grandparent's point, or question is basically do we want a Sourceforge of Rocketry where North Korea or Iran can check out source and build a rocket more capable than their own current designs.

The fact that most of these Open Source designs will be of the DIY type that could be built by amateurs with easily sourced components ought to raise the Spock eyebrow of at least one intel analyst.

If nothing else somebody will probalby want to know who is posting and who is lurking there.

Re:ICBM anyone? (2, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33340588)

What would be the military implications? For those countries who are striving for missiles already have them (North Korea, Iran, Libya, Somalia, etc.) so there is little point in having a "spy" grab plans for a volunteer effort in Denmark and bring it to one of those countries. What counts is the labor and effort happening there to get this whole thing to work.

Besides, the flight profile for a weapon is quite a bit different than what you want for manned spaceflight. For a weapon, you want to have maximum acceleration (an ICBM can pull as much as 25-30 "G's") for two huge reasons: once the missile is launched you want it in the air for as little time as possible to act as a surprise to "the enemy", and with a high rate of acceleration the missile as a target for counter-battery fire becomes much harder to hit.

On the other hand, for a manned vehicle you want to take your sweet time in terms of going up into space and limit the acceleration forces for what I hope are good reasons. Even if you dismiss human cargo, often for spaceflight activities there are other more "delicate" payloads that you need to be careful with as well. Not only that, but the flight profile for orbital flight (the eventual goal here) is also obvious for anybody tracking the rocket, as would any abort profiles after that. For a good reason, most spaceflight tracks attempt to have their paths or potential "targets" to be in very unpopulated areas too... a military weapon doesn't do that. Still, even if you had a completely working rocket that was designed for use as a manned spaceflight vehicle, what makes it so good for a spacecraft that people can use also makes it a lousy weapon that would only be used as a last resort at best.

If one of these petty dictatorships are really interested in a missile, tell them to buy a Scud... it will be cheaper and do the job better at delivering warheads to the target without getting shot out of the sky first. Please don't use this as an excuse to kill off hobby rocketry and other amateur aerospace projects.

Geek card platina edition (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 3 years ago | (#33341918)

So, what are the military applications for this missile, I mean rocket, design?

The builders themselves describe it as "less high tech then an off the shelf scud". AFAIK, there is not really any navigation in it, apart from small thrusters which allow the pilot to spin the rocket around its own axis for panoramic viewing. And their civilian GPS is subsonic only, so they have to wait for the chutes to deploy before they even know where the fuck the thing went. They built the launching platform for less money than what it would cost to rent a decent pram for a week. This project is the very definition of awesome. It is what can inspire a young generation. Give them the geek card Platina, and I'll kiss the ground they walk on.

Manyfeek! (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33339780)

Those Deolaters among you might want to entreat on the behalf of Fraa Jad. Seems to me the greatest danger here is whoever rides atop this may have trouble with space junk being drawn into orbit around his/her giant balls.

Open Space Movement helping Copenhagen Suborbitals (2, Informative)

IronDragon (74186) | more than 3 years ago | (#33340782)

Copenhagen Suborbitals Facebook page [facebook.com]

Open Space Movement Facebook page [facebook.com]

For anyone wondering, there's another little project in the works, designed to help support existing organizations such as Copenhagen Suborbitals, as well as individuals interested in manned space exploitation. Aka, the Open Space Movement.

The gist of this project is something akin to "sourceforge.net" for aerospace engineering, although that would be a gross oversimplification. The OSM operates on the principle that public involvement is the key to large-scale manned spaceflight in the near future, and operates as a service and organizational platform to help rally public interest, and direct their efforts towards a series of public space ventures.

The site is nearing completion, and should be ready for a beta test in the next week or two. When we begin operations, the first thing we have planned is providing a grant towards Copenhagen Suborbitals. We have raised ~1500 out of 5000$ so far [chipin.com] . Having talked with Kristian von Bengstrom, this amount is roughly equivalent to the cost of the propellants used in the HEAT-1X motor. More importantly, providing a 5000$ grant now makes it possible to provide a 50,000$ grant in the future - since the primary incentive behind our donation model is to show exactly what we've spent money on, and what advances have come out of it.

(we intend to spend money on in-house user-submitted projects as well, but a grant is easier to perform at this stage)

OSM and Copenhagen Suborbitals thread here [somethingawful.com]

FUN FACTS:

FY2010 NASA budget: 18 billion dollars
2005-adjusted cost of Apollo Program: 170 billion dollars.

Gross sales of cell phones in 2008: 38 billion dollars
sales of cell phones in a recent 6 month period: 65 billion dollars

We are currently spending more money on cell phones in one year, than the Apollo program spent in a decade.

Very rough estimate of Copenhagen Suborbitals' operating costs over past 2 years: 200,000$ to 300,000$

Sales of ringtones in the US market for 2008: 750,000,000$

Sales of "5 dollar footlongs" in Subway franchises in 2008: 3,200,000,000$

The public has more disposable income than the budgets of all space agencies and for-profit corporations combined. The OSM wants to put that to work.

After all, we already bought the Internet.

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