Copenhagen Suborbitals Crowdfunding

17th Dec 2020
Kristian von Bengston

The Danish aerospace amateur rocket group, Copenhagen Suborbitals’ crowdfunding has existed since 2011, and during this time, the company has built and launched 6 rockets and space capsules. It is soon looking to send an amateur astronaut into space. And all this happens at their own expense along with donations from enthusiasts, without any support from government or any commercial company.

The group currently has about 60 volunteers. These are engineers, technicians, scientists, and managers ready to use their experience for a common goal. The company understands that they cannot compete with the budgets of professional space programs, so they build rockets using a “simpler and cheaper” method and emphasize that they will in no way depart from the crowdfunding model.

Copenhagen Suborbitals Mission

The group’s main goal is to launch a manned rocket Spica X with an amateur astronaut on board. The Karman line defines space at 100km above Earth, so the plan is to launch a space capsule with an astronaut just above that altitude, from where it freely falls back and lands by parachute into the sea. To implement the program, CS develops in house:

  • The platform for launch
  • Spica X missile
  • Capsule for an astronaut
  • BPM-100 rocket engine

Copenhagen Suborbitals office and workshop of 630 sq. m. are located in Copenhagen’s centre in a former shipyard, which was initially used for painting ships.

The first human-crewed flight is planned to be completed approximately in five years. The Royal Danish Navy is presenting a CS launch site in the Baltic Sea near Bornholm Island. The mission base is located in the seaside town of Neksø on the east coast of Bornholm, which CS loves to call the “Neksø spaceport.”

Crowdfunding is the main Copenhagen Suborbitals’ funding source

Despite the organization’s amateur status, its activities are expensive. Since CS does not fundamentally consider government and commercial support, and financial investments from some of its participants are not enough, the main source of financing is crowdfunding, and hopes are pinned on it.

Copenhagen Suborbitals budget system offers two membership programs for everyone to help. The first involves a monthly fee of $10. Such members can participate in public tests for free. Those willing to pay $20 a month get the privilege of seeing their name on every rocket.

Since 2008, the number of people willingly donating their own money for the Danish company’s ambitious projects has amounted to several thousand people. Now there are about 600 active participants, who can leave the program at any time.

All donations are carefully documented – the company posts lists of everyone who has helped in the past as well as those who are currently helping. Copenhagen Suborbitals funding highlights that every dollar received from crowdfunding brings them one step closer to the main goal: the Spica X rocket launch with an amateur astronaut on board and ensuring their safe return to Earth.

About Copenhagen Suborbitals

The group of amateur rocket enthusiasts was founded by Kristian Von Bengtson and Peter Madsen in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2008. Although both the founders left the group around 2015 following internal disagreements.

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