SparkFun Heads to Denmark


Last week, we made mention of a suborbital rocket launch in the Nevada desert. This week, we're heading a little farther away - to Copenhagen, Denmark!


Some very cool graffiti in Copenhagen.

A while back, we got an email from a group in Denmark called Illutron. They were working with Copenhagen Suborbitals on a suborbital rocket and are using some SparkFun parts. Cool! We decided right then and there that when it was time to launch the rocket, we would head to Denmark and take some photos. We booked plane tickets for the second week of September (a.k.a. now) and started planning our trip.


The Illutron barge - a floating hacker paradise.

Of course, as they saying goes, the "best-laid plans of mice and men, go oft awry" and as the date approached, there was an issue with the rocket and the launch had to be postponed until next year. D'oh! Fortunately, there is still plenty to do and see in Denmark and we headed out anyway to check out the rocket, meet with some very creative minds, hang out on the awesome barge where the group works, and check out Illutron's hacker space.


Now that is a rocket!

We'll do a full write-up of the trip when Nate (SparkFun CEO) and Juan (SparkFun photographer) return, but we wanted to share this update and a few photos. Check out the SparkFun Flickr page as Juan will be uploading photos daily (there isn't a lot there right now, but more will be added as the week goes on). Check out the Copenhagen Suborbitals page for a ton of cool information on the project!


Comments 13 comments

  • Ha! I have been doing a lot of work out of Denmark and I have to say, that for such a small country they have some brilliant people. Copenhagen is a beautiful place and has a great nightlife. Just stay away from the American karaoke bar after a few to many drinks. Ugly things and sounds are pretty much guaranteed.
    Have fun Guys!

  • I was going to correct the Robert Burns quote you used there since I thought it ended with “often go astray”. However, in trying to find a reference, I stumbled upon the actual quote: “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.”

  • If you feel like taking a trip to the biggest hackerspace in Denmark (it’s about 3 hours by train), then we’re having a party to celebrate the official opening on saturday: http://fest.osaa.dk
    If there is any interest in dropping by, let us know and we’ll try to help you out.
    I’ll personally buy everybody from SparkFun a beer, you guys rock!
    Any other hackers in .dk should feel free to drop by as well.

  • I’m so happy to see that Denmark, my very small home country, is represented on my favorite site! :)
    As a side note to the whole “you should put stickers on it” - the team have decided that the rocket project should be driven by volunteers and donations. Also donations would only be taken if there were no conditions ie. commercial interest. Guess that’s why it’s called donations and not investments… ;)

  • When I read about the Nevada rocket, I wondered why you hadn’t heard about the rocket being built here in Denmark. Now I know that you were way ahead of me.
    The rocket launch didn’t take place in Copenhagen though, but in Nex? which is a town located on Bornholm, an island located far behind Sweden. Also, they did go through with the launch and the countdown, and the whole thing went down on the scheduled day, but it turned out that their valves had been frozen, possibly from the rocket having been a little too long on the ship used to sail it from Copenhagen to Nex?. Their plan is to relaunch it in Summer 2011.
    Considering that Nate is in Copenhagen for a few days, maybe it would be a good idea to go meet and personally thank him for Sparkfun. I’m wondering, what are you planning to do while in Denmark? Are you just sticking to Copenhagen or are you going to ?rhus, ?lborg or Odense as well? Those are the biggest and most wellknown cities in Denmark.

    • I’m honestly not sure what’s on their agenda, except “a lot.” Nate showed me his itinerary before he left and it was pretty jam packed. They will be moving around a lot and meeting with a lot of different people. I do know they are having a great time and love Denmark so far!

      • So I assume it’s not likely that they will drop by and read these comments before they return home? Of course they can’t meet all their customers, but at least it would be good to know if they’re going any interesting places nearby, and maybe be able to recommend some places. It would be a shame to not meet them when they’re this close, and it’s a lifetime opportunity. I would be surprised if they found something else electronics wise in Denmark to come back for, to be honest.

        • Hi ThemePark - We were in Malmo, Sweden yesterday visiting David Cuartielles and a hacker space there. Today we’re headed to a local hacker space called Labitat. We may try to checkout Freetown Christiana or get a tour of some of the buildings near central Copenhagen. It’s all very beautiful - we can’t go wrong!

  • All this and no mention that the rocket was towed to launch position by a home made submarine?
    Didn’t know it got scrubbed until next year. :( Space is a cruel mistress.

  • Y'all should get a “Powered by SparkFun” sticker on something on the side of the rocket. Now that would be a good Make magazine add. A photo of the rocket with y'alls logo on it. :)

  • Nice! What else have they been doing i DK? :)
    It’s kinda funny to see Denmark mentioned where you least expect it.


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