September 6, 2010

Danish Rocket Grounded After Failed Launch

A homemade rocket built by two Danes failed during an attempted launch on Sunday due to a technical glitch, according to Danish media.

Live footage of the event on the Baltic island of Bornholm appeared to show brown smoke coming out of the rocket just before lift-off. Experts said the likely cause was a failure of the ignition system.

After an inspection, the engineers decided against a second launch attempt and did not set a new date for a future attempt.

Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson debated building the 30-foot, 1.75 ton prototype for more than two years. Their intention was "to show that with a 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.

The launch had also been delayed several times because of bad weather.

The prototype cost a total of 63,400 dollars and was financed mainly by 2,000 individual sponsors and 20 companies.

The two builders hope to send a human into space within four years, which would make Denmark only the fourth nation to do so.


Image Caption: Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson. Courtesy Wikipedia


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