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A test flight that amateur rocket scientist Kristian von Bengston says takes him one step close to realising his dream. ...
His company Copenhagen Suborbitals is working on a shoestring to put a human into space by 2020. Its scaled-down prototype rocket containing a life-sized dummy will be fired off the Baltic coast next summer.
Tags:diy space flight,reuters,reuters news,Copenhagen Suborbitals,Kristian von Bengston,Peter Madsen,Tycho Brahe,Von Bengtson
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UPSOT: ROCKET BLAST A test flight that amateur rocket scientist Kristian von Bengston says takes him one step close to realising his dream. UPSOT: ROCKET BLAST His company Copenhagen Suborbitals is working on a shoestring to put a human into space by 2020. Its scaled-down prototype rocket containing a life-sized dummy will be fired off the Baltic coast next summer. SOUNDBITE (English) KRISTIAN VON BENGTSON, CO-FOUNDER OF COPENHAGEN SUBORBITALS, SAYING: "This body here is actually capable of taking the scaled-down capsule to 112 kilometres - that's actually in Space and it's going to provide us with a great test of atmospheric re-entry, capsule systems, and communications, so we're very excited about that." UPSOT: WELDING With a small army of around 20 part-time volunteers they build all their space gear themselves, funding it with private donations. SOUNDBITE (English) KRISTIAN VON BENGTSON, CO-FOUNDER OF COPENHAGEN SUBORBITALS, SAYING: "This is the top part of the full-scale capsule. It's actually the rescue session. It's going to hold all the main parachutes." The DIY space duo have already enjoyed success. Two years ago they launched their Tycho Brahe solid-and-liquid-fuel rocket 2.8 kilometres into the air before the engine shut off. And then, last year, their HEAT-1X became the first amateur rocket to fly with a full-size crash test dummy, performing a successful Main Engine Cut-Off. Unlike orbital trajectory, suborbital flight involves a u-shaped journey, from earth into space and back again, splashing down into the sea. UPSOT: SPLASH By the time a safe human mission can be contemplated, the firm will have been working almost daily on preparing it for 15 years. The flight itself will take just 15 minutes, only five minutes of which will be spent in space. Yet Von Bengtson and co-creator Peter Madsen say it's worth all the effort. SOUNDBITE (English) KRISTIAN VON BENGTSON, CO-FOUNDER OF COPENHAGEN SUBORBITALS, SAYING: "It's actually showing people that human space flight can be done in a completely different level from what we're used to. Everybody believes that Space flight , manned Space flight, can only be done with billions of dollars and it has to be government financed. I hope that we can show that you can do it on a shoestring budget. You can pretty much do it yourself." If successful, the flight would make Denmark the fourth country to launch a manned rocket into Space, after the US, Russia, and China. Von Bengtson says that by funding it themselves, Copenhagen Suborbitals' achievement will rewrite the rules of space travel. And even if they never get into space themselves, the amateur rocket scientists say they're having a blast. UPSOT: ROCKET BLAST