Ben Krasnow, who lists himself as a Hacker Extraordinaire at video game company Valve, apparently decided to built a demonstration hybrid rocket engine in his free time. That, or Valve’s getting into the jetpack business.
I’m secretly hoping for the latter (after all, aren’t they’re getting into the hardware game?), but don’t hold your breath. If you want to build your own, though, he’s detailed the process in a YouTube video:
Frankly, the science here is way over my head, but the engine runs off solid acrylic and pressurized oxygen. This demo unit is only meant to burn for a short time and Krasnow didn’t go shooting up into the atmosphere with it, though he does demonstrate how hybrid rocket engines can be “throttled and shut off completely.”
I’m pretty sure the “Don’t try this at home” disclaimer applies here, but if you decide to make one, you’re going to need some pretty fancy tools. For my part, I’m going to stay on the ground for now. After all, my man Elton says, “It’s lonely out in space.”
Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA/Getty Images