9:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Science Channel Greenlights Series About 'Homemade Astronauts' (Exclusive)
Another giant leap for mankind?
Science Channel has greenlighted a series tentatively titled Homemade Astronauts, which will follow DIY rocketeers as they attempt to get a man into space on tight budgets.
The show, now in production for a 2020 premiere, will follow three self-financed teams.
Mike Hughes and Waldo Stakes are working on a manned rocket to space, designing what they call a "rock-oon" — part rocket, part balloon — that they hope to use to get Hughes to the Karman line, the border between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, which is about 62 miles high. To raise money and awareness, they plan to first launch Hughes 5,000 feet high in a steam-powered rocket.
Ky Michaelson, who has been called the real-life "Rocketman," is the first civilian to build and launch an unmanned rocket into space. He's now looking to become the first amateur to build and launch a fuel-powered, manned space rocket.
Meanwhile, Cameron Smith is creating a space suit that can withstand all the elements of space at 60,000 feet and hopes to get there in a specialized hot air balloon.
"As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Homemade Astronauts looks at a group of ambitious individuals who are carrying on in the American tradition of finding their own way and making their dreams come true with old-fashioned grit and self-determination," said Marc Etkind, general manager of Science Channel.
Homemade Astronauts is being produced by World of Wonder. Executive producers for World of Wonder are Jeremy Simmons, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell. Executive producer for Science Channel is Caroline Perez. Lindsey Foster Blumberg is supervising producer for Science.