New Rocket to Take Single Passengers to Space

A private Danish rocket launched recently had its first successful test flight. The event is a huge step forward for the team's plan to eventually loft people on cheap suborbital spaceflights.

What's the Latest Development?

Using a very streamlined production process, a team of Danish rocket scientists have launched a small spacecraft designed to carry just one person into sub-orbital space. Called HEAT-1X, the rocket lofted two miles into the air before falling into the sea, and while the Danes had hoped for a higher altitude, the test flight is a major achievement in the rapidly developing space tourism industry. "The goal of [the team called] Copenhagen Suborbitals, which has been running full-steam since 2008, is to launch people into suborbital space—and to do it on the extreme cheap."

What's the Big Idea?

Space tourism is ramping up as more and more private companies test ways to propel humans into space. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is the first major tourism venture slated to carry the public into space and while current technology still requires a high price for tickets, many have already reserved their seats. What Copenhagen Suborbitals represents is a more functional, more futuristic relationship with outer space; it looks forward to the day when single individuals will have the desire and the capacity to be launched to sub-orbital heights.

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