<p><strong>Private spaceflight took one giant step forward this week when the<em> Tycho Brahe </em>craft lifted off atop the HEAT-1X rocket engine Friday (pictured) from a platform in the Baltic Sea.</strong></p><p>A group of Danish volunteers launched the homemade spacecraft from the floating platform Sputnik, located near the <a id="gi62" title="Danish" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/denmark-guide/">Danish</a> island of <a id="nsz6" title="Bornholm (see map)" href="http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps/map-machine#s=r&amp;c=55.09094362227853, 14.81266021728517&amp;z=11">Bornholm (see map)</a>, according to the <em>Copenhagen Post</em>.</p><p>During its test flight, <em>Tycho Brahe</em> reached a height of 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers), the<em> Post</em> reported. The eventual goal is be to send the craft nearly a hundred miles (160 kilometers) into space, or about halfway to the <a id="bc35" title="International Space Station." href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/space-exploration/international-space-station-article.html">International Space Station</a>.</p><p>Named after a 16th-century Danish astronomer, <em>Tycho Brahe</em> (TEE-ko brah) holds one person—or, as in Friday's test flight, one crash-test dummy.</p><p>Rocket developers Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, who both have spacecraft and rocket-engineering experience, founded the nonprofit <a id="w-w." title="Copenhagen Suborbital" href="http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com/">Copenhagen Suborbital</a> to pave the way for manned spaceflight on a "micro size" spacecraft such as <em>Tycho Brahe.</em></p><p>"It's a success that we have gotten the rocket up into the air, and I think that we have written a little bit of history," von Bengtson told the <em>Post</em>.</p><p>(Also see <a id="rlnv" title="&quot;World&amp;squot;s Largest Model Rocket Launch Is Blazing Success.&quot;" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/090427-worlds-largest-model-rocket.html">"World's Largest Model Rocket Launch Is Blazing Success."</a>)<em></em></p><p><em>—Rachel Kaufman</em></p>

Tycho Takes Flight

Private spaceflight took one giant step forward this week when the Tycho Brahe craft lifted off atop the HEAT-1X rocket engine Friday (pictured) from a platform in the Baltic Sea.

A group of Danish volunteers launched the homemade spacecraft from the floating platform Sputnik, located near the Danish island of Bornholm (see map), according to the Copenhagen Post.

During its test flight, Tycho Brahe reached a height of 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers), the Post reported. The eventual goal is be to send the craft nearly a hundred miles (160 kilometers) into space, or about halfway to the International Space Station.

Named after a 16th-century Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe (TEE-ko brah) holds one person—or, as in Friday's test flight, one crash-test dummy.

Rocket developers Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, who both have spacecraft and rocket-engineering experience, founded the nonprofit Copenhagen Suborbital to pave the way for manned spaceflight on a "micro size" spacecraft such as Tycho Brahe.

"It's a success that we have gotten the rocket up into the air, and I think that we have written a little bit of history," von Bengtson told the Post.

(Also see "World's Largest Model Rocket Launch Is Blazing Success.")

—Rachel Kaufman

Photograph courtesy Bo Tornvig, Copenhagen Suborbitals

Pictures: Homemade Personal Spacecraft Lifts Off

Private spaceflight took one giant step forward Friday, when the homemade, one-person Tycho Brahe spacecraft lifted off in Denmark.

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