Inside an old storage warehouse in an abandoned shipyard in Copenhagen, Kristian von Bengston and Peter Madsen have been building a one-man rocket ship they intend to send on a 15-minute, parabolic trip to the edge of space and back.
Von Bengston and Madsen’s non-profit, private space agency is called Copenhagen Suborbitals, and is probably the most extreme do-it-yourself project in the world. Von Bengston is an aerospace scientist and former NASA contractor. Madsen is an engineer who founded a DIY collective that built three submarines as a hobby.
Copenhagen Suborbitals has no government grants, no investors, and no academic affiliation. Instead, they’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from ordinary people around the world who donated in exchange for a part of their dream.
Four new projects with clever ideas and modest goals caught our attention over the weekend. Standing out as great examples of Kickstarter ideas on a tight budget, these creators are all seeking less than $1,250.
Created by 24-year-old artist and writer Sam Maiden, Reboot is the first issue of a new comic-book collaboration. Maiden describes his true love as writing and producing comics, and his Kickstarter project is his first attempt to realize his dream in print.
Dalek v Enterprise is a highly ambitious lark: A race to the stratosphere between the spacecrafts of Doctor Who and Star Trek. Creator Karlos Fandango’s previous Kickstarter project successfully sent a TARDIS to space and back — despite an unexpected detour up a tree — and he says that this new sci-fi adventure will be his last in the series.
Sling piping-hot dim sum as fast as you can — it’s Dim Sum Robot #1: Mecha Food Cart Action! This delicious little game puts you in charge of a robot food cart as you prowl the city, fly across buildings, and launch dumplings to happy patrons from across the street.
Repeat creator Ray Sumser is an artist obsessed with cartoons. His ongoing project to catalog the “cartoon universe” has been entirely inspired and funded by his Kickstarter backers.
Sidius Nova is a Kickstarter-funded space strategy game. Just three months after successfully reaching their goal, the game’s creators have launched in the App Store — and it’s free for a limited time.
Final Frontier Design (FFD) is a design collaboration between artist and inventor Ted Southern and aerospace engineer Nikolay Moiseev.
After working together on a NASA-sponsored competition and in residence at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in New York City, FFD launched a Kickstarter project to jumpstart its most ambitious project: A flight-certified space suit for the burgeoning commercial space industry.
The project was successfully funded this summer and 383 of 386 rewards have already gone out to backers. But the team continues to update supporters with intriguing behind-the-scenes info, including this diagram of the suit’s breathing apparatus.
Spaceopoly brings all the thrills of interplanetary domination to an iPhone near you.
A combination of civilization-building strategy game and Monopoly-style tycoonery, Spaceopoly will allow players to band together for the good of the galaxy — or crush each other with ruthless back-room deals.
The creators just posted a peek at the exclusive Kickstarter ship, for backers only, which looks pretty awesome when those weapons are leveled up.
Plasma accelerators allow for low-cost, fuel-efficient space travel. The boys behind HyperV have already constructed a functioning single-shot plasma accelerator, but in order for this machine to be functional for space travel, they’ll need to transform it into a repetitively pulsed, continuously operable, compact plasma thruster.
They’re on their way to infinity and beyond, but they’re making a pit-stop as our Project of the Day. Give them a little boost and they’ll blast off.
Saturn V Relaunch is a lot of things, but most importantly? It is a son’s attempt to redeem his father. In the early ’70s, near the end of the Apollo space missions, Paul Sahre’s father began work on his own model Saturn V.
Standing at a worthy four feet tall, the model took months of meticulous labor to make. When it was finished, Sahre and his entire family were brought out to an open field, where they counted down to launch. The miniature Saturn V rocketed into space, but — to the horror of onlookers — plummeted back to space after its chutes failed to deploy. It was destroyed forever, and Sahre has never forgotten.
Fast forward to present day. Sahre is now a father himself, and he’s ready to set the record right. He’s preparing to reengineer the launch of Saturn V, using the same vintage Centuri model kit and the original launchpad. But this time, he’s determined to have it land safely.
On September 22, a group of students is going to send send 1000 ping pong balls into outer space. Well, not exactly ping pong balls, but PongSats — small, ping pong-sized science experiments that can range from the super simple (like a marshmallow!) to the highly complex (miniature data logs). When the PongSats return to earth, they bring back video footage, photographs, and data from the upper strata of our atmosphere. That’s pretty far out! It’s also our Project of the Day.