It sounds like the ramblings of a crazy man, but 2 guys in Copenhagen are currently building a non-profit spacecraft in a shed at the outskirts of the city. Their plan is to send a manned vessel into space within the next couple of years.
I know one of the guys, Kristian Von Bengtson, very superficially through Copenhagen Bombay and his wife, director Karla von Bengtson, with whom I had the pleasure of working this summer. Through that link I had the great pleasure of stopping by their work site where Kristian showed us around and told us about this crazy project in detail. I must admit that it has been a long time ago I was this fascinated by a project. It was like being 9 years old again and taken through one of your favorite Donald Duck stories.
Everything in that shed just blew my mind. First of all 2 guys decide that they want to send a human being into space, and just get started building a rocket. To be fair to this story I should mention that & Kristian is a spacial engineer and used to work for NASA where he amongst other things build lunar landers and helped create their design manuals & Peter Madsen previously build his own submarine (3 actually).
Kristian told about the process of building a rocket out of things from your local hardware store. Yes the rocket is build out of old washing machine parts and pieces of blow driers etc. The heat shield for instance consists of super glue, some cork floor tiles and plastic wrap.
The nature, scale and ingenuity of the project makes it quite cheap compared to traditional space projects (the initial test launch is calculated to cost around 50.000 €). The project is funded by private donations and companies + art funds.
But don't take my word for it. Got to their homepage, check it out, donate, get exited and share it with your friends. Initiatives like this are so worth sharing:
After my visit to the work site, I was so on fire with enthusiasm that I was ready to pull on a jumpsuit and get busy welding for those guys. Soon realizing that that probably would end in disaster for the Astronaut to be and his family, I decided to make them a poster instead.
It took me all and all about 4 days to create the poster. The motif is build out of wood, cotton and one of my fathers traditional Christmas light chains. Ill post a little making of segment elaborating further on the process behind building a jet stream in my parents garage a little later.