From your back yard to outer space. (With you on board!)

I’ve just been reading TWO do-it-yourself space missions. Paul M. Davis, on, reports on a Danish project to construct a two-man space capsule:

Kristian von Bengtson is no eccentric. When he talks about DIY space travel, it’s worth taking note. A former NASA contractor and member of the AIAA Space Architect Technical Committee, Bengtson’s plans to build a DIY manned space rocket are more than pipe dreams. Bengtson founded Copenhagen Suborbitals in 2008 with inventor Peter Madsen, a non-profit that aims to democratize travel to the final frontier. Since its inception, Copenhagen Suborbitals has already launched a number of test rockets, most recently the Heat 1X-Tycho Brahe in June:

That’s awfully exciting and inspirational and all… but then devote a moment’s thought to the Ugandan space program, which Chris Nsamba is basically building with a team of volunteers in his mom’s back yard:

“It isn’t about money, it isn’t about competition or pride,” said Nsamba, founder of the African Space Research Program. “The mission is about advancement in space technology as a continent and what we can contribute towards that growth.”
While the group’s plans are ambitious, they are starting at the beginning of the aerospace ladder.
To test their engineering skills, Nsamba and his team are finishing off the first Ugandan designed and built aircraft.
But for Nsamba the sky is not the limit.
“We are trying to have Africa participate in the contribution of knowledge into mankind’s destiny,” he said.

He says the program’s slogan, “Slowly We Get Smart and Quickly We get Old,” sums up why his efforts are so important.

If the thought of that makes you temporarily breathless, gulp a little air down and read more at the African Space Research Program.

And you’ve gotta see the pictures of Nsamba’s ship. They can do this. It could really work.

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