Mesa group building spacecraftPosted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz. -- A team of Valley engineers is building its own spacecraft in hopes of making space travel somewhat affordable.
Morris Jarvis created Star Systems, a start-up aerospace venture. The goal is to get the average person to space without a price tag that's out of this word.
"We were all supposed to be Jetsons by now," Jarvis said. "We're kinda dragging our weight so we embark and do it ourselves."
So he and his team are constructing the Hermes Spacecraft. The prototype is called the "Sensational Susan," named after Jarvis' wife.
"If we keep going down the path we are, we'll do some glide testing, tether testing," said Jarvis. "We could even tow it up to a balloon and do a drop test that way."
Star Systems has already created a 2-inch and 3-inch hybrid rocket engine. The next step is making a 10-inch, 8-foot long engine.
Right now, British billionaire Richard Branson seems to be closest in offering private space travel. His Virgin Galactic is already conducting test flights. Folks with the cash are spending $200,000 for a trip. Those could begin by 2014.
Jarvis' vision is to make the space trips even cheaper, so it's not just multi-millionaires who can go into space. But for now, Jarvis needs the funding and expertise to keep his dream alive.
"We need help with aviation law, any kind of experts on finite elements," said Jarvis. " [We] need a lot of cad done right now. We've got a deal to try to raise some money to do a full-scale rocket engine test."
You can learn more about the spacecraft here and how you can donate here.