Thursday, April 02, 2009

Space Access 2009 - Frank Smith - Copenhagen Suborbitals

Frank Smith is the US representative for Copenhagen Suborbitals, a non profit group based in Copenhagen. They are doing an open source approach for space. They are designing a rocket. Others in Europe can use it; there may be some issues in exporting their technology to the United States. They have been doing some proto-typing. Current plan is to launch out of Iceland to avoid European rules on rockets on the continent.

It was a pretty short presentation.

The full agenda

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peterfirefly said...

What they decided to do instead is to build a floating launchpad so they could launch from sea.

They made an attempt in 2010 which failed due to a frozen LOX valve and another one this year which did succeed in firing the rocket -- but which also proved the need for active control of the rocket; they had to abort the mission because the rocket had veered off course.
Their only steering for the rocket was a weak (passive) aerodynamic one combined with a slow intentional rotation.

They did manage to successfully test their launch and recovery operations, the space capsule for the passenger, the parachutes, the radio and radar, and the rocket itself. The next version is intended to have active control of the rocket, an upgraded capsule, improved parachutes, and an escape mode (a smaller rocket on top that can lift the capsule to safety, like Apollo had).

The team has an active blog on the internet site of "Ingeniøren", a Danish magazine for engineers and one of the guys from Armadillo Aerospace (and formerly of Masten Space) actively participates in the comments through the magic of google translate :)

Henry Cate said...

Thank you for the update.