AMATEUR rocket builders are planning to take on Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos by launching a man to space without the billionaire budget.
A Danish group called the Copenhagen Suborbitals wants to launch a person into sub-orbit in a homemade rocket.
Mads Stenfatt, a pricing manager, spoke to Futurism about his involvement in the group.
He said: “We do it because it’s hard. Once you are in it, you start to realize also that the fun part is not getting to the goal.
“The fun part is constantly working on challenges that are so ridiculously difficult.”
The Copenhagen Suborbitals group is made up of 50 people and they all have regular jobs.
They lack funding but they love rockets and are building one called “Spica”.
They hope Spica will be the first manned amateur spacecraft to achieve a successful sub-orbital flight.
A sub-orbital spaceflight means a craft that just reaches outer space but doesn’t reach orbit.
It reaches a point to be considered space and then comes back to Earth.
An orbital spaceflight requires much more power.
The recent space tourism trips by Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’s Blue Origin were only sub-orbital.
Unfortunately, the Copenhagen Suborbitals won’t be reaching space as quickly as the billionaires.
They think it might take 10 years to achieve their goal.
The group thinks the challenges they face are all part of the fun.
Stenfatt explained to Futurism: “Then there’s doing it on a shoestring budget when all the grownups — that’s what we call NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and so on — can throw hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars at a problem.
“They can always buy themselves a solution, but we have to go the other way.
“At best, we can spend a few hundred dollars on materials and then just be ingenious in what we do. That’s the fun part.
“We need to be different. One of the ways we do that is we overbuild stuff. All of the one or two-percent improvements that the pros do to optimize something isn’t possible for us because it really costs money.
“We’d rather literally work with a hammer on a rugged engine to get it fixed than optimizing the thickness of the metal, for example.”
Covid-19 regulations in Denmark meant the team couldn’t meet up for many months to work on their project.
They’re now back working on their Spica rocket and hope to make Denmark the fourth nation to put a human in space.
In other news, this week marks the anniversary of the first chimpanzee in space.
Nasa has revealed stunning footage of a solar flare in action.
And, the US space agency is planning for a ‘golden asteroid’ probing mission to launch this summer.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4596112/amateur-rocket-builders-take-on-musk-space/ Amateur rocket building group plan to launch man into space and take orbit back from billionaires