Danish Amateur Company Copenhagen Suborbitals Wants to Send Astronauts to Space

25th Apr 2021
Spica Rocket Launch

Copenhagen Suborbitals, founded in 2008, is the only amateur rocket-building company set on sending amateur astronauts to space. The company is run through crowdfunding, donated materials, and many volunteer hours.

Copenhagen Suborbitals Goals

Right now, Copenhagen Suborbitals is designing an approximately 13-meter high rocket, ‘Spica,’ which, according to the plan, should end up with a man or woman on board.

Mads Stenfatt, the company co-founder, says that a fun trip is not too far away. During the approximately twenty-minute space travel at up to 4,000 kilometres per hour, the astronaut, if everything goes according to plan, will act as a simple passenger, letting the computer system control the rocket.

It is a “suborbital flight,” which means that the rocket and astronaut must not orbit the earth but reach outer space at an altitude of 105 kilometers and then return. The theory behind a rocket exists in advance. The Internet provides access to materials they can build from. And the electronics that control the rocket have become smaller and more accessible. Mads Stenfatt explains that the difficult thing is to get it all connected.

Copenhagen Suborbitals Achievements

John Leif Jørgensen, professor at DTU Space, knows some of those involved in Copenhagen Suborbitals, and he calls the association “skilled and hard-working people with good ideas.” However, he voices doubt that the home-built project will be too expensive and slow to reach its goal.

According to Mads Stenfatt, Copenhagen Suborbitals only operates with ‘one-tenth of NASA’s coffee budget.’ Still, he believes that the company will send the first amateur astronaut to space within ten years.

The road to the goal has already seen several test launches with unmanned vehicles. The latest in the series was the rocket Nexø 2, which reached an altitude of 6.5 kilometres. So, despite all doubts, Copenhagen Suborbitals may still achieve its ultimate goal.

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