Copenhagen Suborbitals, Denmark / by Alastair Wiper

In a small shed in the outskirts of Copenhagen's old shipyard, two amazing men and their team have a mission. They want to go into space in a home-made rocket. And they are serious. And they are going to do it, or die trying.

Kristian Von Bengtson, an architect and aerospace scientist who has worked for NASA, and Peter Madsen, an artist and engineer who has previously built the world's largest amateur submarine, founded Copenhagen Suborbitals in 2008. Using sponsorship, private fundraising and a team of volunteers, they plan to attempt a manned space flight within the next 5-10 years, or "as long as it takes", and so far things are going smoothly - rockets are being tested, capsules are being dropped from cranes with parachutes, and Rudi the crash test dummy has died several times.

Everything about Copenhagen Suborbitals is open source - these guys share everything they do, and they are only doing it for the glory of it - the idea of sending a man into space without the backing of a government and with minimal funding. They didn't like their chances of passing the training to become astronauts and making into space, so they decided to do it themselves. They are my new heroes, and boy do they have balls. If they succeed, they will make Denmark the fourth nation to put a human into space - after the USA, Russia and China. See more at

Photos taken for Norwegian's inflight magazine, N.

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