Thursday, September 2, 2010

Copenhagen Suborbitals

Copenhagen Suborbitals is trying to put a man into space this weekend, by launching their very own rocket on Saturday. It'd being launched from a floating platform also of their own design. The floating platform is being towed into place by the Nautilus, a submarine also designed by these guys. So, to recap: their own rocket, floating launch platform and submarine. Clearly, a creative bunch. Nemo would be proud.

Copenhagen Suborbitals is a non-profit group, entirely funded by donations. Go visit their site. You can give them some money, or at least buy a very cool t shirt, like I did.

My favorite aspect of this is that they named the rocket Tycho Brahe, one of my favorite astronomers ever. Tycho had a silver nose, as his actual nose was cut off in a duel. He made incredibly accurate measurements of the stars and planets, and their positions in the night sky, but never concluded the Earth revolved around the sun, choosing to instead cling to his own theory that the Earth was the center of things, and the movements of the planets could be explained by "epicycles," or circles within the orbits. After his death his assistant, Johann Kepler, took Brahe's results and pretty much nailed down the heliocentric solar system model, by deducing the heartbreakingly elegant three laws of planetary motion from the data.


Laurita said...

That's pretty interesting. And a silver nose, eh? This guy's private life sounds as interesting as his theories.

Margaret said...

Xtreemly cool.
(Especially the bit about Tycho Brahe; I can't wait to tell someone about Silver Nose.)

Clowncar said...

He's worth looking into, Larita. A really interesting guy. As was Kepler.

Margaret, the launch didn't happen. They promise it will, eventually. I love the making-this-up-as-we-go-along aspect of the entire enterprise.