Danish Rocketeers Abort Launch Attempt

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 7 (UPI) — Danish rocket enthusiasts hoping to send a dummy 19 miles into the sky say they aborted the launch when a valve on their rocket froze up.

A group calling itself the Copenhagen Suborbitals is attempting to launch its self-built rocket from a military test area in the Baltic Sea, the BBC reported.

As the countdown reached zero Sunday, nothing happened.After inspecting the rocket, the team found a valve controlling liquid oxygen had frozen up and did not open.

The Danish government has given the team the use of its test range until Sept. 17. If their rocket cannot fly before that date, the team will have to wait until 2011 for another chance.

The goal of the group, led by engineers Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson, is to develop an ultra-cheap space launch system to take a single passenger on a short hop above the atmosphere.

Copenhagen Suborbitals is a non-profit group that has been funded almost entirely by sponsors and supported with the help of volunteers, the BBC said.

The team is using a dummy to simulate the weight of a human passenger.

“We’re not going to change the dummy for a real person until we’ve seen the rocket fly to the final height [and] the final apogee … many times so we can feel secure about riding it ourselves,” von Bengtson, who formerly worked for NASA, said.

“That may take more than three years; it may take less than 10 years — it’s difficult to say because we’re not trying to kill ourselves here; we’re just having fun. We’ll do it when we’re ready to do it.”

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