Image: Bo Tornvig
One of the most fun things to follow in the region is Copenhagen Suborbitals, a group of hobbiests with the goal of shooting humans into space without a huge staff or government budget. Given their success and the size of the rockets they're launching, they're a different breed from the average backyard rocket builder, but the small team has found great success with the open source and grassroots mindset . Just yesterday in the Baltic they successfully launched Sapphire, an 528cm experiential rocket using active guide jet vane rudders.
Yesterday's rocket reached an apogee of 8.2 kilometers with a ground track offset of 140 meters. That offset is probably the most notable number, as it shows that the active guidance of the rocket was working.
"Our mission was a tremendous success," Kristian von Bengtson, co-founder of Copenhagen Suborbitals writes in Wired. "Not only did we have a perfect launch, got all data needed for further development of active guidance but the campaign was a perfect showcase of teamwork, dedication and execution."
This isn't Copenhagen Suborbital's first day at the show. It's tough for me to find more recent numbers, but six months ago they've done at least 45 engine tests, and now five rocket launches.
Von Bengtson blogged about the launch in Wired, which is an fun read about getting everything togeter for a successful launch. I encourage you to check it out here, but the most telling line is:
In short – there is no stopping Copenhagen Suborbitals for going into space now!
They're more focused on celestial matters rather than website design, so perhaps the best way to follow them is through their Facebook page.
The full launch video can be found below, with the countdown starting at 3:03:00