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The non-profit organization Copenhagen Suborbitals wants to send a man into space

– News of November 4, 2018 –

Space has long been reserved for governments. The private space sector is in turn booming, and the democratization of launch technologies could allow new types of actors to gain access to space. Copenhagen Suborbitals is a bit different as it is the only non-profit organization that has an inhabited space program. In 2008, a group of amateurs met with the crazy idea to send a man into space. Since then, they are gradually moving towards this goal.

At Copenhagen Suborbitals, everyone is a volunteer and donations finance the program annual budget, which is equivalent to less than 10% of NASA’s coffee budget. With limited means and a team of volunteers, Copenhagen Suborbitals tries to prove that space is accessible to all. Despite this amateurish structure, the organization has already achieved several shots. In 2011, the HEAT-1X rocket took off with a manikin on board. But it did not go as planned because at 2.8 km altitude the rocket deviated from its trajectory and then crashed at sea. Since then, Copenhagen Suborbitals launches different types of rockets to test its different systems, with more or less success.

On 4 August 2018, Copenhagen Suborbitals launched the Nexo 2 rocket, which reached an altitude of 6.5 km, with almost perfect mastery. However, there is still a lot of work for the Danish team to realize their dream. In 2014 they unveiled the architecture of the rocket which should allow to embark a man : a rocket 14 meters high and a little less than a meter in diameter. It is liquid oxygen and ethanol that will propel the rocket.

Pictures by:
Copenhagen Suborbitals [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Thomas Pedersen

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