Homegrown Rocket Science

NEW FILM. Max Kestner's Amateurs in Space is the story of one of the greatest dreams of humankind and how to make it come true in your own way.

Peter and Kristian, founders of the Danish rocket association Copenhagen Suborbitals, are struggling to build a rocket that will take them beyond Earth's atmosphere. Peter is a self-taught submarine builder, and Kristian used to work for NASA. Everything in the rocket is homemade, mostly from materials available at any home improvement store.

Director Max Kestner follows the two space amateurs as they pursue their dream of travelling into space. Their first launch attempt took place in 2010 under the eyes of the assembled world media, including reporters from the US, Russia and China. But the rocket just stood there on the launch pad. Nothing happened. The next year, it flew – but horizontally! Then, in 2013, the rocket finally lifted off and soared, actively controlled by a homemade computer program, and this time it went straight up.

Amateurs in Space tracks the two space pioneers' efforts to push through to the sublime despite such everyday stumbling blocks as losing a screwdriver or arguing over whose turn it is to take out the trash. The film is produced by Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production. Expected to finish early February 2016.