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ROCKET SCIENCE
Technical glitch grounds homemade Danish rocket

The prototype, which contained a doll, cost a total of 50,000 euros (63,400 dollars) and was financed mostly by 2,000 individual sponsors and 20 companies.
by Staff Writers
Copenhagen (AFP) Sept 5, 2010
The first launch attempt of a homemade rocket built by two Danes failed on Sunday because of a technical glitch, according to Danish media.

Live footage of the launch off the Baltic island of Bornholm appeared to show brown smoke coming out of the rocket after the countdown.

Experts interviewed by TV2 News said the likely cause was a failure of the ignition system.

After an inspection, the builders of the rocket decided against a second launch and did not set a date for a new attempt.

Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtsson have toiled for over two years to build the nine-metre (30 feet), 1.6-tonne prototype, which is named after the famous Danish astronaut Tycho Brahe.

They intend "to show that with little financial means anyone can send a rocket into space, which is a privilege not just reserved for rich countries," said Madsen before the launch, which was delayed several times because of bad weather.

The prototype, which contained a doll, cost a total of 50,000 euros (63,400 dollars) and was financed mostly by 2,000 individual sponsors and 20 companies.

It had been hoped that the rocket would reach an altitude of between 10 and 30 kilometres (six to 19 miles).

The duo hope to send a person into space within three or four years, which would make Denmark only the fourth nation to do so.



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