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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Welcome to Copenhagen Suborbitals

• Wired

Dear reader…

My name is Kristian von Bengtson, and I design and build spacecrafts.

I have so much to show you and share with you. A little over three years ago my life changed. Everything I have learned, taught myself, loved and wanted to do was suddenly merged together in a split second: building my own space rocket with the right partner and crew. The ultimate DIY project.

It was in May 2008 I founded Copenhagen Suborbitals together with my newfound friend Peter Madsen. I met Peter who, like me, was at a crossroads in life in terms of projects. He had just finished his last home-made submarine, and I was back from NASA doing work on space capsules. Within a few minutes we joined forces and inside Peter’s submarine, under water, we planned how to conquer the universe without a single dime in our pockets.

Without any chance of turning in a business plan, with a fraction of sense, to someone with money, we decided just to begin and to make this endeavor an open source and non-profit project. We wanted to leave it to people to decide if they wanted to donate some money.

Today three years later we are blessed with thousands of donors, many sponsoring companies, and about 30 fantastic and hard-working part-time specialists. In June 2011 we succeeded in launching our dummy manned space rocket into the air. It was hand-built at a price of approximately $100,000. It flew! Even though we encountered a trajectory anomaly, we were still able to communicate with the rocket. We were able to shut down the hybrid rocket engine, separate the spacecraft and deploy the parachutes. It was the success we so dearly wanted.

This is not a business, nor is it an attempt to race against being the first doing private space travel in Europe. It is truly a project pushing the limits of a small group of individuals.

 

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