Test launch of Danish amateur-built rocket fails due to mechanical glitch
The first launch attempt of " Heat-1X/Tycho Brahe," a private Danish rocket built by two amateur Danes, failed on Sunday because of a mechanical glitch. And the mission has been postponed indefinitely, according to Danish media reports.
Live footage of the launch off a metal platform in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Bornholm showed brown smoke coming out of the rocket after the countdown.
According to Ingenioeren.dk, the two rocket builders, Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson, confirmed that it was a mechanical fault in the main valve on liquid oxygen tank. And they decided against a second launch and did not set a date for a new attempt, Xinhua reported.
During the day there have been several postponements due to adjustments in the launcher and various security checks.
If successful, the 9-meter-long rocket, Tycho Brahe, would burn through its fuel of liquid oxygen and solid rubber in about 60 seconds to propel the craft at 1,250 mph to an altitude of more than 100 km where it would experience weightlessness for about five minutes before drifting back to the Baltic Sea.
During the Tycho Brahe capsule's descent, a drogue parachute and three main parachutes should deploy and carry it back down for recovery in the water by a fast boat.
Two years ago, Madsen decided to kick-start the private rocket venture when he met Kristian von Bengtson, an aerospace engineer who has worked with NASA on Mars and lunar programs. They gathered a small group of about 20 volunteer supporting members.
Their ultimate goal is being able to launch people into space and to get the very extreme experience of seeing Earth.