|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2011)|
|Founded||May 1, 2008|
|Headquarters||Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Key people||Peter Madsen (Founder)
Kristian von Bengtson (Founder)
|Employees||> 22 (all volunteering )|
Copenhagen Suborbitals is a non-profit organization based in Denmark's capital, Copenhagen. The organization's main goal is to develop relatively inexpensive forms of suborbital manned spaceflight outside of government programs and the influence of large, for-profit corporations. Founded in 2008 by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, the project has accomplished a successful sea launch of a test hybrid rocket dubbed the HEAT-1X while carrying a full scale human model. This test was performed in June 2011 on a seagoing mobile launch platform in the Baltic Sea, but had to be aborted after 21 seconds at an altitude of 2.8 km when the rocket began to veer off course. Outside of their main stated goal to achieve suborbital manned spaceflight, Copenhagen Suborbitals has also focused on the promotion of an open source working environment and on fundraising solely through donations and sponsorships. Their use of relatively simple solutions for complex problems has also helped set Copenhagen Suborbitals apart. Examples of this approach can be seen in their use of simple mechanical solutions over more complex electronic solutions, and their avoidance of potentially restrictive red tape by using lightly regulated technology in their rockets.
CS as the project is commonly referred to was founded in 2008 by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, as an open source and non-profit project where important aspects of the operation are described in detail on blogs and lectures and funding is gathered through donations and sponsorships. Within the project von Bengtson is responsible for the design and construction of the spacecraft. He is an architect and has participated in various space projects, design of new moon rovers and co-author of NASA's new Human Integration Design Handbook. Peter Madsen is responsible for the rocket engines. He is an inventor, artist and entrepreneur. Before forming CS, he built 3 submarines; Freya (2002), Kraka (2005) and UC3 Nautilus (2008).
Besides the founders several specialists contribute with work
- Thomas Scherrer, Spacecraft electronics, comm-link.
- Claus Nørregaard, Certified pyrotechnician.
- Christian Ravn, Physicist
- Niels Foldager, Space medicine, Dept. Flight Director.
- Kristian Elof Sørensen, MLP-Sputnik Captain.
- André Christensen, Recovery lead and Area control.
Suborbital space flight 
From the launch site a rocket engine module, will carry a manned module called MicroSpaceCraft (MSC) near the 100 km boundary and into space. The two modules will detach and the MSC will follow a trajectory affected solely by gravity, within which the occupant will feel weightlessness. Gravity will then pull the MSC back into the atmosphere, where the it will be decelerated by parachutes and land on water. If successful, Denmark will be the fourth nation to launch humans above the Kármán line which is the boundary to outer space, after Russia, USA and China. Peter Madsen is scheduled for the first flight, then Kristian von Bengtson will attempt a low earth orbit mission.
CS started on a barge called M/S Half Machine in Port of Copenhagen. On 1 August 2009 they relocated to its base and office on Refshaleøen, the old Burmeister & Wain shipyard, in Copenhagen. Their main workshop is in the HAB (Horizontal Assembly Building) and they have recently added a Vehicle Assembly Building to their structures. For the sea launches the group has built a mobile launch platform called Sputnik.
Rocket engines 
The group has decided to use a hybrid rocket, using liquid oxygen (LOX) as oxidizer and originally HEAT was to have been fuelled with paraffin wax, but a ground test 28 February 2010 revealed that some of the paraffin wax had only partially melted, instead of evaporating. The result was that HEAT-1X had less power than expected. A ground test firing of HEAT-1X-P (P for polyurethane) was conducted 16 May 2010. It was positive, the polyurethane had the right power but showed heavy oscillation. As of 2011 the group has performed more than 30 tests of various engine types at their rocket engine test facility at Refshaleøen. In fall of 2012 a concept engine using White fuming nitric acid and Furfuryl alcohol was tried using a static test setup.
The HATV (Hybrid Atmospheric Test Vehicle) is a 220 mm diameter hybrid booster, used for testing purposes, it is 1/3 the size of the HEAT rocket. It produces approximately 12 kN thrust within a combustion time of 20 seconds.
HEAT X1 
HEAT 1X (Hybrid Exo Atmospheric Transporter)  is the rocket booster module, intended to launch the MSC Tycho Brahe into space, the combination being known as HEAT-1X TYCHO BRAHE. The rocket design is the result of numerous static booster tests of the solid fuel epoxy and the liquid oxidizer nitrous oxide. A combination which was also used in the scale-down test rocket HATV (Hybrid Atmospheric Test Vehicle) which is only 1/3 size of the HEAT. Stabilization of the rocket is by rollerons, a mechanism also used to stabilize missiles. The rocket was successfully launched 3 June 2011 but the test was aborted at an altitude of 2.8 km.
TM65 is a Liquid propellant Engine using 75% Ethanol and liquid oxygen (LOX) as oxidizer. This engine produces about 65 kN thrust. First static tests were conducted in May 2012. The engine passed the test undamaged, and was fired at up to 50% of its rated thrust. The group plans to repeat the test with higher thrust levels.[dated info]
The rocket engine called HEAT-1600 after the width of the rocket, is the biggest rocket concept by the group, and the one that is being worked on as of May 2013. 
Tycho Brahe 
The micro space craft (MSC), named Tycho Brahe after the Danish astronomer, has a steel pressure hull, with room for one passenger. The passenger would be able to view the outside through a Perspex dome. The occupant would fly in a half-standing/half-sitting position, in a specially designed seat, and wearing anti-G trousers to avoid blackout. Another compartment contains both the high-speed drogue parachute and the low-speed main parachutes for deceleration. The sheer volume of the MSC will provide the buoyancy in the water upon touchdown.
The first MSC was christened "Tycho Brahe 1" and its first flight was unmanned using a crash test dummy. A new aluminium MSC called MAX-1 named after Maxime Faget is under development. According to the group development on this capsule has been abandoned due to the physiological problems associated with large acceleration of a human in standing position. The craft is now on display in the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen.
Tycho Deep Space 
Tycho Deep Space is a space capsule developed by von Bengtson. The first version officially named "Beautiful Betty" by Mikael Bertelsen, the capsule's protector. The unmanned capsule was launched on august 12 August 2012 from sea by a test Launch Escape System, off the coast of Bornholm. The launch didn't provide enough height for the parachute to deploy and the capsule was partly damaged on impact with the sea. The capsule is 2 meter in diameter, allowing for the passenger to be in a horizontal position relative to the likely acceleration and deceleration during launch and landing.
Launch campaigns 
The group originally focused on launching from a land based spaceport like Andøya, Kiruna or Iceland The focus however turned towards a sea launch, just outside the territorial waters of Denmark. A permission to launch was given by Danish authorities, but the first option, the North Sea, a possibility suggested by Danish Civil Aviation Administration (Statens Luftfartsvæsen), was rejected in 2009 by the Danish Maritime Authority (Søfartsstyrelsen). They preferred another area and then gave a formal and written permission to launch from the military firing range ESD138/ESD139, which is located on the position in the Baltic Sea. It is just outside Nexø on the Danish island of Bornholm and is therefore nicknamed Spaceport Nexø. The CS then had to build a floating mobile launcher platform (MLP), called Sputnik after the Russian spacecraft which was the first artificial satellite to be put into orbit. Their launch campaigns includes the following ships:
- MLP-Sputnik, at first had to be towed, but later it had two diesel engines installed, and now sails under her own power.
- MHV Hjortø, a Naval Home Guard vessel who serves as Mission Control and recovery vessel.
- Two small rigid-hulled inflatable boats.
2010: The first launch attempt 
The first full-scale test-launch aimed at 30 km altitude was planned to be conducted off the coast of Bornholm between 30 August and 13 September 2010. The vehicle carried a crash test dummy "Rescue Randy" instead of a human pilot, with manned flight not planned for some years. The success criteria were the completion of the sea voyage and countdown with launch and recovery planned as a bonus.
On Tuesday 31 August 2010, the privately built Danish submarine UC3 Nautilus pushed the launch platform Sputnik carrying the rocket and spacecraft from Copenhagen towards the launch area near Nexø, Bornholm.
A launch attempt was made on Sunday 5 September 2010 14:43 CEST, but the motor could not be started due to a failure of the LOX valve which is assumed to be caused by insufficient heating of the valve. The design famously included a consumer hair dryer for defrosting the LOX-valve; in effect it was not the blow-dryer but its power supply that failed.
The group promised to come back the year after to attempt the launch again.
2011: First flight of HEAT 1X Tycho Brahe 
Having done updates on the rocket, and the valve, and with MLP-Sputnik under her own power, and a support vessel. The group sailed again for Spaceport Nexø on May 28 at 04:50 a.m. They again met up with MHV Hjortø, a Naval Home Guard vessel who serves as Mission Control and recovery vessel. The second launch attempt was more successful and the maiden flight took place 3 June 2011, at 16:32 local time (CEST) (14:32 GMT). The Heat-1X rocket lifted off and ascended to an altitude of only 2.8 km, because Mission Control had to shut the engine off after 21 seconds. Although there were problems with the parachutes, the HEAT 1X Tycho BraheTycho Brahe was recovered and the flight produced useful data for subsequent development of the program.
2012: Concept tests 
SMARAGD Test 
The SMARAGD rocket ((Danish): Emerald) is a 5.7 meter two stage rocket weighing 160 kg, intended to reach an altitude of 8 km., that was used for testing various technological aspects of the operation. On July 27, 2012 the team set out from Nexø towards the launch site, intending to launch the SMARAGD rocket . After some initial problems with the remote launch control the rocket launched successfully just after 1 pm and reached the maximum altitude of 8.2 km. It was evident shortly after take off that the nosecone, containing electronics, broke off during launch, possibly due to the large acceleration of estimated 20 g.
Tycho Deep Space with Launch Escape System 
On August 12, 2012 at 9:18 a.m. the space capsule Tycho Deep Space, was launched to test a Launch escape system. However the parachute did not deploy properly and the capsule was damaged on impact. Several media had misunderstood the schedule and proclaimed the launch to have been started prematurely due to an error. The test was considered partly successful by the team, due to the successful rocket launch and the unsuccessful parachute deployment. The launch could be followed live via live streaming from several video cameras, additionally high speed cameras were mounted on the MLP.
The Sapphire 
The Sapphire, a modification of the HATV is 4.5 m rocket with active guidance which was scheduled for launch in November 2012, pending software development. The rocket has however has not been launched and no announcement has been made for future plans. 
Goals and records achieved 
Some of the things Copenhagen Suborbitals have achieved so far is:
- Most powerful amateur rocket ever flown.
- First amateur rocket flown with a payload of a full size Crash test dummy.
- First Main Engine(s) Cut-Off (MECO) command sent to, received and performed by an amateur rocket.
- Handling and orchestration of a sea launch, by a "small budget"-organization.
Future plans and concept vehicles 
The Group has announced that they will build an Orbit capsule.
Support group 
CS decided early that many small sponsors, joining just for fun, were better than a main sponsor with demands and pressure.
On October 5, 2010 a independent group of space enthusiasts founded the Copenhagen Suborbitals Support group (CSS). The main purpose of this group is to "support CS economically, morally and practically in their mission". Within two days after its founding, CSS reached 100 members. November 15, 2011 marked a major milestone for CSS as 500 members was reached.
By paying a fixed monthly amount, the members of Copenhagen Suborbitals Support now covers all the fixed costs of continuing the project as well as donating various hardware.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Copenhagen Suborbitals|
- Copenhagen Suborbitals official website
- Danish blog written by the people of Copenhagen Suborbitals
- Copenhagen Suborbitals Support
- HEAT1X-Tycho launch highlights on YouTube
- Lecture by Kristian von Bengtson, from TEDx
- Wired blog written by Kristian von Bengtson of Copenhagen Suborbitals
- Project overview
- Picasa Web album (many wikipedia compatible licences)