Five years ago, a Motherboard video crew filmed Peter Madsen of Copenhagen Suborbitals at his workshop in Denmark. At the time, Madsen and his cofounder, Kristian Von Bengtson, were planning the first amateur human spaceflight. The group had planned on launching rockets from the UV3 Nautilus, an amateur submarine built by the nonprofit group. Madsen was slated to be the astronaut.
"It doesn't take much courage to climb on board a rocket and have the hatch sealed and light it. Because it either works or it doesn't work," he told us in 2012. "The period of time you have to realize that is usually very short. It takes an unimaginable amount of courage to be the commanders on the ground to make the decision—let's launch this thing and see if it works."