Accepting the Risk of Death in Spaceflight

Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen have been developing Copenhagen Suborbitals, the open source, backyard endeavor they founded to launch themselves into space, for five years now. In the midst of ever more models and tests (here is a nice update on the Tycho Deep Space II capsule if you’re interested), von Bengtson took a few minutes to talk about the potential consequences. Never one to hide from the truth, this is not the first time von Bengston has highlighted the dangers of his more-than-hobby. Last year, he rather humorously explored all the “horrible deaths” one could experience in a spaceflight gone bad. As the modern day founder of DIY spaceflight puts it, “I think most people will actually accept some slight risk of death if they’re able to fulfill their wildest dreams.”

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Merryl Azriel

Merryl Azriel

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Having wandered into professional writing and editing after a decade in engineering, science, and management, Merryl now enjoys reintegrating the dichotomy by bringing space technology and policy within reach of an interested public. After three years as Space Safety Magazine’s Managing Editor, Merryl semi-retired to Visiting Contributor and manager of the campaign to bring the International Space Station collaboration to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. She keeps her pencil sharp as Proposal Manager for U.S. government contractor CSRA.