So this bunch of Danish amateurs called the Copenhagen Suborbitals (site down) have banded together to produce and launch a manned spacecraft. They’re doing it using voluntary donations and sheer gung-ho and it is beyond awesome. So far I think it’s cost them thousands of dollars (vs NASA billions) and in six days time the first test launch with a crashtest dummy in place will happen. Forum posts. Wikipedia article.
As if that wasn’t amazing enough, the guys are going to be towing the launch platform out to sea using a submarine that they built earlier. This is one of those stories which really doesn’t do justice to the phrase derring-do, eh?
Their site is totally hosed by Slashdot et all at the moment, but visit it in a day or so, if only to see the pic of the transition from what is literally a table napkin vision to the real thing ready to launch. Just astounding.
Welcome to Copenhagen Suborbitals Our mission is very simple. We are working towards launching a human being into space. This is a non-profit suborbital space endeavor lead by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, based entirely on sponsors and volunteers.