Here is a link to the original article at MSNBC.com.
Danish amateur rocket, Heat-1X Tycho Brahe, a MSC (micro spacecraft), takes off from its launch pad in the Baltic Sea on June 3, 2011. The original plan for the Danish amateur rocket builders was to send the rocket about 10 miles up in the air, but the craft reached only 1.7 miles (2.8 km) and flew a total of 5.3 miles (8.5 km). The spacecraft was carrying a human sized doll, and is part of a larger plan to send a human into space.
The amateur rocket building team is composed of Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson from Denmark. Although this 9.5 m tall rocket weighing more than 2 tons only reached a low altitude of 2800m (9200 ft), which has been beaten by many previous private rocketeers, it is good to see many private entries in the space race (and private missiles!!) that was once the sole realm of government agencies. This launch from abroad a barge nicknamed “Sputnik” anchored in the Baltic Sea near the Danish island of Bornholm was their second launch attempt, and was deemed a success even though the rocket failed to reach the expected altitude of 15 to 16 km (9.3 to 10 miles). At the team’s first attempt in September 2010, the rocket did not achieve lift off. The goal is to send an even bigger rocket 100 km into space. The duo is supported in their quest by a group called the Copenhagen Suborbitals. Here is another link with more pictures.
More power to the private rocketeers. More private players means more competition and innovation, which means more spin-off technologies, new industries, new possibilities, more jobs and opportunities. Plus, there is an increased chance for common people to be able to go to space one day soon.