IDFA - Amateurs in Space

A boys’ adventure tale come true for two Danish friends who dream of building a rocket for the first amateur manned flight out in space.

In today’s money the Apollo space program would have cost a hundred billion dollars; at its peak, it employed around 400,000 people. Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson are two Danish friends who dream of spending a tiny fraction of that sum, working with the smallest possible team, to build a do-it-yourself rocket for the first amateur mission out in space. Madsen himself will have the honor of following in Neil Armstrong’s footsteps, though his chance of success is as slight as an amateur soccer team winning the Champions League.

They embark on their crackpot enterprise armed with some serious technical skills and an adventurous spirit. When they need materials they simply go to the local DIY store, and they always find practical solutions to complex issues. Director Max Kestner closely follows the process over six years, recording how – to the astonishment of everyone – the duo and their ever-expanding entourage of enthusiastic fellow amateurs succeed in building a properly functioning rocket. After the first successful test launch, however, a battle for control breaks out, jeopardizing the project.