Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Danish pair have DIY plan to launch a man into space

NECESSARILY THRIFTY:Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson’s shoestring project has them putting their faith in home-made spacesuits and cork-tile heat shields

The Guardian, COPENHAGEN

Without access to specialized space facilities, the team trooped down to Copenhagen hospital and persuaded bosses to let them have a go in a hyperbaric chamber, normally used to treat divers suffering from decompression sickness.

“We created 0.6 bars of pressure — the equivalent of going up to 13,000 feet [3,962m], and luckily, the suit worked,” he said.

The Suborbitals were similarly thrifty when it came to testing out the astronaut’s capacity for g-forces.

“We didn’t have the money to hire NASA’s facilities, so we went to Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens and tested the g-forces on fairground rides instead,” Bengtson says. “Turns out the Vertigo ride has exactly the same g-force as our rockets, so we hired it for a day.”

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