TYCHO BRAHE SPACECRAFT
(1st generation space vehicle - retired)
Named after the Danish astronomer and noble-man, the spacecraft Tycho Brahe is the payload of the launch vehicle, designed to support one person on a
suborbitals space trip. It was designed and hand-crafted during a 2 year period from 2008 to 2010 by Kristian von Bengtson.
From this spacecraft you are going to have a beautiful ride, with a full view of Earth. Until we
find the entire operation safe, we are flying a 50th percentile 70 kg dummy.
Mass: 300 kg (including astronaut)
Lenght: 3.5 meters
Diameter: 64 cm
Internal atmosphere: 1 bar, atmospheric gas
Pressurized volume: 650 liters
Unpressurized volume: 200 liters
Parachutes: 4 (1 drogue & 3 main)
Parachute data: cross type, 145 sqm total
Heat shield: 15 mm cork
Communication: 2 downlink 1 uplink
Tracking: 10.5 GHz transponder antenna
Power profile: 12/24V DC
GNC profile: IMU system
Coding protocol: RS422
Addition info: aerospike for optimal aerodynamic profile when flying supersonic. Personal
parachute for panic egress. Redundant timer/sequencer system for parachute deployment and separation.
Photo: Bo Tornvig
Photo: Thomas Pedersen
TYCHO BRAHE SUBSYSTEMS
SEATING AND ASTROANUT SUPPORT
We have chosen a standing orientation for the astronaut. This reduces the rocket diameter,
and provides for a better view. However, this orientation will result
in +Gz g-loads where humans somewhat susceptible to high g-loads.
However, personal tests and calculations has so
far shown that our current launch vehicle acceleration and g-load time will not
become a problem, when combined with our seating system.
The seating configuration will provide the following features:
- Slight bend legs and thighs,
- Body support for optimized ±Gz-load transition,
- Neck and head support,
- General body strapping
- Postural hypotension control
It will not be possible for the astronaut to move around inside the Tycho Brahe.
Only arms will be free to perform basic operations.
The astronaut is able to slightly turn the head sideways to provide a wider outlook
and will be equipped with a small emergency
parachute which is fitted into the seating system, for emergency egress.
Photo: Bo Tornvig
Parachutes are a vital component to ensure a safe spacecraft impact on water. The spacecraft holds 4 parachutes: a 5 sqm
powerfull drogue for the first initial aero braking, and three 45 sqm main parachtues for the final descent.
In 2010 we decided to produce our own cross type parachutes. Cross parachutes are one of the most simple parachute types, easy to
produce, providing soft deployment and stable operation. The parachutes are still undergoing development.
Ejection test I
Ejection test II
All up test Tycho Brahe
The main pressure hull is wrapped in a 15 mm heat shield made from 1 mm cork-layers. Cork is a cheap,
lightweight and extremely fire/heat resistant material. We believe that the spaceship will be heated up to about
120-150 degress C during the descent, which is well inside the range of the performance of the cork.
Photo: Bo Tornvig
TYCHO BRAHE FLIGHT AND RECOVERY
On June 3, 2011 Tycho Brahe was launched using the HEAT-1X engine and flew about 2 minuttes, before it was
recovered in the Baltic Sea.
Due to trajectory anomaly the spacecraft was separated and the parachutes had to
be deployed during great speed in order to save it. The parachutes were not able to deploy correctly due to
the speed but even with a "knot" of parachutes we had a low enough impact on water to recover Tycho Brahe as one piece.
See and read more about this launch here
Photo: Claus Mejling