‘Astronaut Farmer’ from Arizona working on spaceship

By day, Morris Jarvis works as an instrumentation and control engineer for Intel Corp.’s newest factory, Fab 32.

By night and on the weekends, he is Arizona’s version of the “Astronaut Farmer,” building a vehicle he hopes to launch into space some day.

Jarvis and his 10 partners have built a prototype of a craft that would take everyday people on suborbital flights around Earth for a fee. He named the craft “Hermes,” a Greek god of land travel.

Jarvis is about three years into the latest prototype, a gleaming white craft that resembles a boxy version of the space shuttle and seats four passengers. He works on it in his shop at his east Mesa home.

The problem is that Jarvis needs money to get a workable model off the ground.

He estimates he needs about $100,000 to do glide testing. He then would need $1.5 million to launch the craft with a helium balloon, the cheaper of two methods he is considering.

Launching the craft with a rocket would take about $5.4 million, he estimates.

Source:  Arizona Republic

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