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From Earth To Mars

by Pete Guest (3299 words)

Governments have drastically reduced their space exploration programmes, delegating these efforts to private enterprise. Copenhagen Suborbitals and Mars One are only two of the companies striving to prove that they can pick up where NASA left off.

Refshalevej is a jumble of rusted jetties and shipping containers on a windblown peninsula that juts out into the Baltic Sea. Hemmed in on one side by a line of wind turbines and on the other by steaming cooling towers, it surrounds a giant, battered hangar, a remnant of one of Denmark’s abandoned shipyards. Fishermen cast lines off the decaying dock gates; an abandoned toilet stall squats in a lay-by overlooking the sea. Incongruous in the loading yard, a scaffold holds a thin white missile around ten metres (33ft) tall.

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