Peter Madsen

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Peter Madsen
PeterMadsen clipportrait.png
Madsen in November 2010
Born Peter Langkjær Madsen
(1971-01-12) January 12, 1971 (age 47)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Residence Copenhagen, Denmark

Peter Langkjær Madsen[1] (Danish pronunciation: [peːdɐ lɑŋˀkæːɐ̯ mað̩sn̩]; born 12 January 1971) is a Danish engineer and entrepreneur. He co-founded the non-profit organization Copenhagen Suborbitals but left it in 2014,[2] becoming the founder and CEO of RML Spacelab ApS.[3][not in citation given]

Madsen was arrested in August 2017 for suspected involvement in the death of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who was last seen alive aboard his submarine UC3 Nautilus.[4] Wall's dismembered body parts were later found in and around the bay of Køge. Madsen admitted to dismembering Wall's body, and is currently awaiting trial for murder.[5]



Madsen built three submarines — UC1 Freya, UC2 Kraka and UC3 Nautilus. The Nautilus is a privately built midget submarine, launched on 3 May 2008 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Constructed over three years, it cost approximately US$200,000 to build (1.5 million DKK).[3]

Copenhagen Suborbitals

On 1 May 2008, Madsen co-founded Copenhagen Suborbitals. In June 2014, he left the project.[2] Madsen was responsible for the launch system, launchpad and booster rocket engines.[6]

Rocket Madsen Space Lab

In June 2014, Rocket Madsen Space Lab was established by Madsen. The goal was the development and construction of a manned spacecraft. From 2016, RML was developing a nano satellite launch vehicle using venture investments. Under the title Raket-Madsens Rumlaboratorium (Danish for Rocket-Madsen's Space Laboratory) Madsen has blogged about his activities on the web-site of the Danish news magazine Ingeniøren.[7]

Sinking of UC3 Nautilus and death of Kim Wall

On 11 August 2017, Madsen was arrested after the sinking of UC3 Nautilus and the disappearance of Kim Wall, a Swedish journalist who had last been seen alive aboard the submarine.[8][4] The following day, a court ruled for him to be held in pre-trial detention for 24 days on a charge of negligent homicide.[9] Madsen first claimed that he disembarked Wall on land at the tip of Refshaleøen on the night before the sinking.[10][11] He later changed his statement, saying that she had died on board in an accident, and that he had buried her at sea.[12] According to the Danish police, the submarine was deliberately sunk, which contradicts Madsen's explanation regarding a technical fault.[11] A human torso was found washed up on the coast of Amager on Monday 21 August, which DNA tests concluded belonged to Wall.[13] Chief investigator Jens Møller reported that the torso had been stabbed multiple times to prevent air buildup inside from floating it to the surface, and that a piece of metal had been fastened to it to ensure its sinking to the seabed.[14] On 25 August, Madsen's charge was extended to "improper interference with a corpse."[15]

During a hearing on 5 September, Madsen stated that Wall was killed when he lost his grip on the submarine’s hatch cover, which he was holding open for her, and it hit her on the head, causing a skull fracture and death.[16] On 7 October 2017, Royal Danish Navy divers assisting the police found the head and legs of Wall, along with a knife and pieces of her clothing, in bags at the bottom of Køge Bay, weighted down by bits of metal. A police spokesperson reported that there were no fractures to Wall's skull.[17] Post-mortem examination on the torso found "knife wounds to her genitals and ribcage", believed to have been caused "around or shortly after her death."[18]

On 30 October 2017, it was reported that Madsen had changed his account of Wall's death and admitted dismembering her body.[19] It was initially reported that he now claimed that she had died from carbon monoxide poisoning on board the submarine, but his legal representation denied this, saying that Madsen did not know how she died. It was later confirmed by the police that he had made no clear statement on how she had died, but had said that she was inside the submarine when it contained exhaust gases.[20]

In January 2018, Madsen was charged with murder, indecent handling of a corpse, and sexual assault. The prosecution accused him of having bound, hit, cut and stabbed Wall before killing her by cutting her throat or strangling her.[21][22]


  1. ^ "Peter Madsen, inventeur exalté et mégalo". FranceSoir (in French). 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Mads (10 June 2014). "Farvel Peter, goddag til et nyt CS". Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "UC3 Nautilus Homepage". Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Koerner, Claudia (12 August 2017). "Submarine Builder Arrested On Suspicion Of Killing Journalist After Vessel Sinks". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Peter Madsen tager frivilligt en måned mere i sin celle". (in Danish). 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-24. 
  6. ^ "Copenhagen Suborbital – Mission Statement". Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Madsen, Peter (9 August 2017). "Raket-Madsens Rumlaboratorium" [Rocket-Madsen's Space Laboratory]. (in Danish). Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "Drabssigtelse i sag om ubåd" [Homicide charge in submarine case]. Mynewsdesk (in Danish). 11 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Opfinder er varetægtsfængslet i 24 dage for uagtsomt manddrab" [Inventor is held in remand for 24 days for involuntary manslaughter]. (in Danish). 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "Drabssigtelse i sag om ubåd". Mynewsdesk (in Danish). Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Kim Wall: Danish submarine was 'deliberately sunk'". BBC News. 13 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  12. ^ Elkjær & Søndberg, Jane Bruun & Astrid (21 August 2017). "Peter Madsen: Kim Wall døde i en ulykke på ubåden". Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  13. ^ Sorensen, Martin Selsoe (23 August 2017). "Kim Wall Is Confirmed Dead as Danish Inventor Is Investigated". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  14. ^ "Drabschef: Kim Walls lig skulle blive på havbunden". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Gottschalck, Anna (25 August 2017). "Peter Madsen Denies Improper Interference With A Corpse". (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  16. ^ Bjørnager, Jens Anton (5 September 2017). "Court Hearing is for Open Doors: Now, the public is getting Peter Madsen's explanation". (in Danish). Berlingske Media. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  17. ^ Jensen, Teis. "Danish divers find missing body parts of Swedish journalist". IN. Retrieved 2017-10-08. 
  18. ^ "Kim Wall death: Danish inventor Madsen admits dismembering journalist". BBC News. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  19. ^ Kentish, Ben (30 October 2017). "Kim Wall: Danish submarine inventor admits dismembering Swedish journalist's body". The Independent. London. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  20. ^ "Politiet præciserer udmelding om Peter Madsen efter kritik" [Clarification by the police after criticism]. TV2 (in Danish). 1 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  21. ^ Henley, Jon (16 January 2018). "Peter Madsen formally charged with murder of Kim Wall on submarine". the Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2018. 
  22. ^ Sorensen, Martin Selsoe (2018). "Danish inventor abused Kim Wall before killing her, indictment says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 January 2018. 

External links

  • Media related to Peter Madsen at Wikimedia Commons
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