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Comment More info (Score 4, Informative) 127

More pics from saturday here:

They have been running a blog since the beginning on (in danish only, unfortunately). Openness is key to the project, that's how they attract the donations that make up all funding.

The astronaut sitting upright is a key part of the design. The spaceship is 60cm in diameter. If he lies down the spaceship needs to be much wider, around 2 metres, and then require a much larger booster rocket.

They aim at a constant acceleration of 4G, which is not very much for a rocket, but this is to make it liveable in the upright position.

Another key part of the design is that it is a hybrid rocket, which has high power, is controllable, and is almost without dangers compared to traditional liquid and solid fuel rockets.

The fuel is actually some rubber substance (not entirely unlike tyre rubber), with liquid oxygen being pumped through to make it burn at high temps. Totally harmless substances, except when you ignite them, produces great thrust, and is even variable, so they can just turn it off if something goes wrong.

Until now they have only been doing static booster tests (all successful). The upcoming launch is the very first flight test. They only aim at going to some 20 km's altitude. The eventual goal is to replace Sven the test dummy with Peter Madsen, and thrust him to above 100 km's - and get him down safely.

Comment Incentives (Score 1) 175

The PTO should be punished for issuing bad patents. Say, if a patent is invalidated by court, PTO returns the patent fee to the owner, and PTO must pay the plaintiff's attorney. Make it expensive enough for them that it hurts more than doing the job proper to begin with.

It is all about incentives, not the price of patents. Someone will always have enough to buy their ridiculous ways.

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