Saturday, June 04, 2011

Ad Astra!

Copenhagen Suborbitals launched their first full test flight of the HEAT-1X rocket yesterday and as you can see from the video below, despite a bit of wobble, she flew!

The orange bit at the top of the rocket is a capsule big enough to carry a human being (it contained a test dummy for this first flight) and the end goal of the project is to carry a man into suborbital space. Reaching suborbital space is far easier than reaching orbit, which is why the rocket does not have to be very big, but its still a monster of a project for private individuals with very little money. The test flight was planned to reach an alttitude of 16km, but early reports indicate the rocket only made it about half way. The parachutes were also a bit faulty, but thats what test flights are for I guess.

A Danish 'rocket expert' has applauded the effort and predicted a Danish rocket may carry a man into suborbital space within a decade... so no dangerous enthusiasm on his part then. I predict a manned flight within four years, but thats because I am an impatient optimist when it comes to space flight.

1 comment:

moif said...

Jyllandsposten reports today that the HEAT-1X is the first amateur rocket to have broken the sound barrier, and it flew 8 kilometers in total, reaching an altitude of 2800m.

Ground control killed the engines when the rocket's trajectory took it out of the designated safety zone (a military firing range).

Copenhagen Suborbitals are quoted as being over joyed with their launch and already planning a new, bigger rocket, to be launched next year.