Two Danish amateur rocket enthusiasts have successfully designed an operational rocket. The homemade rocket was launched by them from a floating base station located at the Danish Baltic Island of Bornholm. The rocket, called the Heat-1X Tycho Brahe took off from its launch pad on Friday.
The rocket was 9 meter (30 feet) in height and weighed nearly 1.6 tonnes. Inside it, there was a human sized doll placed in the capsule. The Danish rocket scientists Peter Madsen who is a space geek and ex-NASA employee Kristian von Bengtsson completed making this rocket in three years with the help of other volunteer techno freaks. They had previously tried to test it in September, but the plans had gone horribly wrong due to a minor fault in the hair dryer that prevented a valve from freezing. So they perfected the design and got the rocket going the second time around. The aim of the rocket builders was to send it up 15 to 16 km in the air. However, the rocket travelled some 8.5 km but the maximum altitude reached is yet unclear.. Still, Madsen seemed to be very happy after the MSC (Micro Spacecraft) was safely launched. He told the press and TV reporters that the inventors of the rocket were elated and learnt a great deal while building this spacecraft.
It seems that Madsen and von Bengtsson have got themselves registered in the history with this fine attempt. Earlier on Friday, they were a bit nervous about the launch because the unmanned rocket’s countdown didn’t start as expected on the first attempt. However, after a little bit of troubleshooting, the countdown began with all the components functioning properly. At precisely 4:32 pm (1432 GMT), the Heat-1X Tycho Brahe lifted from the launch pad. The Copenhagen Suborbitals group expected that the rocket reached up a maximum altitude between 14 and 16 kilometers (8.9-9.9 miles) but it’s not yet officially announced.
Now, after achieving this historic feat, Madsen aims to travel in the rocket’s small and cramped up capsule that would make him the first Danish man to go to space. He and his partner started off with this plan to prove that anyone can send a spacecraft into space with little financial aid or resources and that it is not something reserved for the richer nations. The group received funding and sponsorship from around 20 countries and 2000 individuals. They were required to spend some € 50,000 ($ 73,000) to complete the prototype.
Image Credit: 2space