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Headline: Homeless Man Designs Suborbital Rocket
Phoenix local, Woody Stanford, while spending part of the time at the CASS Homeless Shelter managed, in his spare time, to design a manned suborbital rocket.
Currently in negotiations with a retired Hollywood stuntman out East to build the first prototype, he is happy with the prospect that his design will be recognized nationally.
The cockpit is tiny, accommodating a single pilot less than 5’8” in height and less than 160 lbs, but it is anticipated it will propel a person to a height of 12,000 feet competing with the likes of Denmark’s Copenhagen Suborbitals’ HEAT rocket.
Stanford comments “I want to keep the majority of these projects here in Arizona. California and Texas all have their space efforts and even New Mexico is host to a spaceport built by Virgin
Galactic. I want our state to share in the prestige of this pursuit.”
At 16 feet tall, it burns a commercially available grade of the same solid propellant that is used in the Space Shuttle’s boosters. Its tubular steel and aluminium construction allows a serious enthusiast to build it from plans available from the Stanford Systems web site.
“The most difficult part wasn’t the airframe or the powerplant itself, but rather the flight computer. With a lot of freetime on my hands I was able to code and test the short-duration autopilot system, simulating it and transferring it to an SBC (Small Board Computer).”
“Failures that would scramble the brains of a person that are fairly common in hobby rockets are avoided by UAV-style servo fins on the top of the rocket’s fuselage.”
Financially, Mr. Stanford’s company is looking to crowdfund their amateur work asking Arizonans to contribute what they can.
“My long term dream is to have my own prototype built here in Arizona and haul it around on a trailer to various events, so Arizonans han touch and feel a suborbital vehicle designed and built right here by an Arizona based company.”
You can visit the Stanford Systems web site at: https://woodystanford.wordpress.com and check out the designs and scientific papers that constitute the DBeta design. Donate buttons pepper the site and these contributions directly fund active suborbital projects currently in the works.