Profit-less space program launches in one week

The Copenhagen Suborbitals are now within one week of their first launch. We looked in on the non-profit and non-secretive space program back in March but we had no idea the group had a frickin’ submarine at their disposal. What you see above is the rocket on its floating launch platform. The submarine will haul it out into the Baltic Sea for launch. There’s not much room in the craft for an astronaut but it will be a horrifying an exhilarating flight. According to the spacecraft page the human payload will be in a half-sitting, half-standing position looking up through an acrylic nose dome. This first launch will not be manned, but once they get through the tests this will be one crazy ride.


  1. parag0n says:

    That submarine?

    They built that too. See the thread on it at

  2. Haha wtf they are Danes… We are still as crazy as we used to be ! xD

    Anyway, it’s a nice program, and i’m looking forward to it. In fact i think it’s the first rocket lift of in denmark….

  3. Davse says:

    One of the rocket masters (Peter Madsen) have actully been the creator behind 3 submarines, including the one on the picture.

    Try google for peter madsen and his submarines freja, kraka and nautilus

  4. asdasd says:

    a frickin’ fucing submarine!!!
    that’s awesome!!!

    i want one myself now!

  5. Navic says:

    These guys are making amazing progress!! I can’t wait for the stats after this test flight. Also wondering how the half-sitting half-standing is going to feel on the ride – hopefully they’ll make it to a manned flight soon!

  6. RobThePyro says:

    OMG I volunteer to be the test pilot! :D

  7. Polymath says:

    While the rocket is impressive in and of itself am I the only one that’s a little concerned that they’re developing rocket and submarine technology at the same time?

    Still, props on both the rocket and the sub!

  8. Davse says:

    They are not developing in the same time.. First the subs, afterwards the rocket.

  9. Mike says:

    Blasting off straight up is old school and dangerous. They should take notes from SpaceShipOne

  10. unsupported says:

    I’m not judgin’, I’m just sayin’… but why develop the sub in the first place? Just get a boat to move the platform to sea.

  11. Tech B. says:

    Yeah, I hope there are more than one test flights before a maned takeoff. I wouldn’t wont to be the one to tell some family that I blew up there son with a rocket I built.

  12. blolefromohio says:

    The sub might have been a good teaching exercise in life support. I have not been this excited about a project pretty much ever.

  13. David says:

    They are making amazing progress, I just hope they’re a success. They could make a fortune selling “tickets” if they can prove its safety.

  14. Dwarf Hostel says:

    The things spy comedy fans won’t do for a new set piece. ‘Used sub/aerodrome space….’

  15. llamasandwitch says:

    reading more into it the launch will be with a crash test dummy. They are probably checking the g forces.

  16. Wes says:

    “but why develop the sub in the first place? Just get a boat to move the platform to sea.”

    They didn’t build the sub for the purpose of towing the rocket. The sub was its own project. When it came time to tow the rocket, well, hey — why not use the sub they already had?

  17. Gunleif says:

    As I recall, the project began when they made a rocketpowered boat for a childrens tv-program :)
    The subs are prior to that. The entire program is open source, and adhearing to KISS, hence the use of Nautilus as it’s at hand.
    BTW Von Bengtsson is a former human habitat engineer at NASA, so not quite an amateur :)

  18. vonskippy says:

    Launch Checklist….

    #63 afbinde Rocket fra Submarine

  19. andar_b says:

    Interestingly enough, the forces a submarine must endure are lesser than current spacecraft in some ways.

    Pressures outside a sub can be tens of atmospheres, depending on its dive depth limits, while in near space, the only pressure will ever be -1 atmosphere.

    Air will leak out into space, but a pinhole will cause a high-pressure jet of water, in a sub.

  20. zool says:

    i wonder what the controlls are
    it says there’s a dopler radar, and it’s got two boxes with some switches
    no real explanation on it

  21. Matt T says:

    Brilliant stuff!

    Donations to the project can be made here:

  22. D_ says:

    I’m not so sure about that seating position. In the event things go wrong your eyes balls are going to be locked onto the impact are, until impact. I’d rather see work on launch vehicles capable to place micro/pico communications satellites into orbit.

  23. terribledamage says:

    Why I have the feeling that something will go horrible wrong like the rocket fall back to them :D

    I doubt NASA likes that “kiddies” try to shoot up things to their space. Even if it makes it there it will be just waste floating out there and might collide with 1 multibillion dollar satellites.

  24. is0lated says:


    It’s not really NASA’s space :P
    But even if it does get up there, it’s going to come back down. It’s a SUB-orbital flight, not an orbital one. I’m pretty sure they’re put a bit more thought into this than “Let’s make a rocket and fire it into space and see what happens.”

  25. zacdee316 says:

    Maybe if we’re lucky this program will surpass all national space programs and make a moon(preferably Martian) base before the U.S or Russia.

    I’m sure there are enough crazy people to do it. I would for sure.

  26. gregman_1 says:

    @polymath-actually, props on just the subs. The space vehicle uses a rocket motor. Just sayin’…

  27. Scott says:

    The pilot, if you want to call him that, will be almost in a standing position.

    If the g forces are great enough, the blood will drain to his feet and he will pass out. Hay may not remember much of his flight is he survives.

    This is why pilots in modern fighter planes sit reclined.

  28. krustikov says:

    i dont imagine they’ll be lifting much with only 6000N of thrust?

  29. Nick says:

    The submarine page is located on and some images

  30. Holy Moley! says:

    My first guess is that the controls are placebos: Each switch or button activates instrumentation that tells the pilot everything’s nominal. If anything, one of them probably plays soothing music and records the pilot’s last words.

  31. jerm1386 says:

    @krustikov Their ‘boosters’ page ( clearly states 40kN for the vehicle urrently up for launch in a week, and at an acceleration of less than 3g, I estimate that means the rocket is 1400-1500kg AFTER a good portion of the fuel is gone. the 6kN peak engine was from one of their smaller HATV’s.

  32. Luckless says:

    “oh, let’s just use this sub I have in storage *SuperHighFive*”

  33. Mike says:

    Why would anyone fly in that coffin when they could ride in style in a Reliant Robin?

  34. Jon says:


    You should see the amount of garbage that is orbiting the earth already.

    From NASA Orbital Debris site FAQ:

    What is the principal source of large orbital debris?
    Satellite explosions and collisions. Prior to 2007, the principal source of debris was old upper launch vehicle stages left in orbit with stored energy sources, e.g. , residual propellants and high pressure fluids. The intentional destruction of the Fengyun-1C weather satellite by China in 2007 and the accidental collision of American and Russian communications satellites in 2009 greatly increased the number of large debris in orbit.

  35. baphomt says:

    Really cool! The first impression before reading the notice was that these guys builded a DIY Ballistic Missile Submarine!

  36. C. Moller says:

    Scott: The pilot will be wearing a g-force suit from the danish airforce, don’t worry it’s highly skilled professionals on the job! Von Bengtsson is former NASA guy working with these kind of things.

    I think it will go well, happy launch guys!

  37. pkr says:

    “Light blue touch-paper and retire to a safe distance…”

  38. Nick says:

    More images

  39. Zeecue says:

    I went to see the spaceship in Nexø here today, will uploade some picturs of the ship later this week.

  40. Phr4gG3r says:

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