Amateur rocket flies high – The Post

Amateur rocket flies high

Denmark’s amateur rocketmen successfully launch home-made rocket

June 3rd, 2011 4:00 pm| by admin
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'Heat-1X Tycho Brahe’, the home-made, amateur rocket was successfully launched at 4:32 on Friday afternoon from its home-made platform 'Sputnik’, which floated in the Baltic Sea off the east coast of the  island of Bornholm.

The rocket’s Danish builders, amateur rocket artists Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson, hoped Heat-1X Tycho Brahe would fly 15 to 16 kilometers into the sky on its virgin flight, but they said they would also be happy if it got any air at all.



And it did just that in Friday’s perfect weather – with the help of some professional-grade replacement parts.

Last September, the team’s first attempt to launch Heat-1X Tycho Brahe sputtered out when a standard hair-dryer that was being used as part of its construction went kaput. Friday’s successful launch was a test flight to ensure that all was working as it should – and it did, after a little more fiddling.

After the launch today, which saw the rocket reach an altitude of 2.8 kilometres, the next goal is to send Heat-1X Tycho Brahe into outer space, with the eventual goal of sending an even bigger rocket, with a human astronaut inside, 100 kilometers into the air – namely, into outer space.

Peter Madsen, who has also built a home-made submarine, which he has used to visit some of Denmark’s deepest waters, told Politiken newspaper why he would like to send a person into space:

"One of the advantages of sending a person into space is that, sooner or later, it will require building a hellishly big rocket, and I am a huge fan of hellishly big rockets.”

Heat-1X Tycho Brahe is approximately 9.5 meters high and weighs more than 2000 kilos.

The amateur rocket team, which is backed by a group that calls itself the Copenhagen Suborbitals, was over the moon about Friday’s successful launch.

"The feeling is incredible and we will take everything we have learned home with us,” Madsen told TV2 News. "We are a lot wiser now about how to get a rocket into the air.”

Madsen's partner, von Bengtson, said it was a significant achievement for the Copenhagen Suborbitals. “It’s a success that we have gotten the rocket up into the air and I think that we have written a little bit of history,” he said.