Intel software-engineer-turned-rocket-designer Morris Jarvis is hoping to give tourists a ride into space beginning next year for only $30,000 apiece – much less than the $200,000 that Virgin Galactic will be charging its millionauts.
The 22-foot-long carbon fiber Hermes vehicle – set for launch from a high-altitude helium balloon – lacks only a few things to make it a reality. Such as a wind tunnel to test it in. And about $1.5 million to build a full prototype. However, six-time shuttle astronaut Story Musgrave said he was impressed with the design when he saw a mock-up on display during a recent Intel developer forum in San Francisco.