When it launches for a sub-orbital jaunt into the heavens on Aug. 31, the Danish-built HEAT1X-TYCHO BRAHE will carry a crash-test dummy. Eventually, though, the team behind the rocket—all volunteers, and led by Something Awful forum members—hope to put an in-real-life person inside.
"Eventually", in this case, means 4-to-10 years. But, frankly, this project has already achieved amazing levels of awesomeness. Using money from donations and corporate sponsorships, the group, called Copenhagen Suborbitals, has already built a floating launch pad in the Baltic Sea and a submarine (for towing materials to said floating launchpad).
Then there's these fabulous quotes they keep giving the Danish press. God bless Google Translate.
"There can roughly be three things: We can get a crash, we can fly supersonic or we can not shoot because of weather. If it becomes a crash, we hope it becomes a spectacular crash," said [team co-leader] Peter Madsen.
Madsen, there, by the way, is also apparently the guy who, if all goes well, will one day become the first Dane in space.
"Our mission is the smallest space mission, you can make – just straight up and say I've been in space," said Peter Madsen, who more than happy to take the chance. "I always say we must all die. I think many would be ready to take the risk of getting into space, "he said.
It probably helps his confidence that partner Kristian von Bengtson has a degree in aerospace science.
I just noticed that this was recommended on Submitterator as well. I didn't find it there, but I'll give shout-outs to Chesterfield, anyway.
Wired Science: Danish Volunteers Build Manned Spacecraft
Official Web site of Copenhagen Suborbitals—including lots of good test videos, photographs and documentation