We're building a full size rocket motor for our Hermes Spacecraft. Help us Kickstart the next generation of space travel! Read more
This project was successfully funded on April 28, 2012.
About this project
Thank you to all of our supporters, we would not have achieved our funding goal without you! You have shown everyone that the interest for aerospace projects continues to grow, and Kickstarter can support these types of initiatives!
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Missed Out On Backing the Hermes?
Check out our website for information on how you can support us. Our Shirts and stickers were so popular, we've going to continue to offer them (and other personal goodies) as rewards for your support.
The Hermes Spacecraft
We are developing the Hermes Spacecraft: a reusable suborbital spacecraft that will take passengers and payloads into space. We want to provide the ultimate joyride, a thrilling ride to space where passengers can experience zero gravity, see the curvature of the Earth below and the star-filled black sky above. Our mantra is “Space for All”, and we want to provide affordable spaceflight for all future astronauts waiting to go!
We have a full scale prototype of the Hermes structure already created. We've also made great progress on several other subsystems. We need your help to create a full size prototype of our rocket motors.
Our Goal: A Full Size Hybrid Rocket Test Motor
The Hermes Spacecraft will be using a hybrid rocket system for it's main propulsion. It’s easier to handle, build, acquire, and most importantly, safer to fly on and better for the environment. Inside the Hermes, we'll be using several rocket motors to propel us to space. To date, we've done several tests with 2” diameter motors, and we've designed and tested a 3" motor.
The next step in the process of developing the Hermes Spacecraft and meeting our objectives is to scale up our small-scale hybrid rocket motors to a larger scale, 10” diameter motor capable of putting out about 5,000 lbs of thrust. This rocket will allow us to better test and characterize the propulsion system in preparation for manned, suborbital spaceflight. We need your help to make this happen!
What's our Budget?
Our $20,000 budget is broken down into the following:
- $10,000 - Sensors. To prove our engine is safe and reliable, we need to be able to measure and analyze every piece of it, and that means A LOT of sensors. We'll have over 40 sensors on our full scale core, including pressure transducers, load cells, strain and temperature gauges. Not only will these sensors document how the engine test goes, but they will alert us if any problems occur, allowing us to shut down our test before all of our hard work goes up in smoke.
- $3,000 - Data Acquisition Hardware. We'll use this hardware to monitor and record all of the data coming from our rocket engine. Using this hardware and our sensors, we'll be creating an entirely autonomous Rocket Monitoring and Control System. When we go out to do our first big test firing, all we'll have to do is press the button.
- $2,000 - Materials. We need to purchase a few more nitrous oxide bottles, the nitrous gas itself, some more rocket fuel and a lot of miscellaneous nuts and bolts to put everything together.
- $3,000 - Tier Awards. This cost is for materials only. Our time spent making these awards for you is well worth it, and will allow us to give you a high quality, built-from-the-heart gift for your support.
- $2,000 - Fees. Hey, everybody needs their piece of the pie. Thank you Kickstarter and Amazon!
How Much For the Entire Spacecraft?
We wanted to set a Kickstarter goal that was an honest assessment of our next big milestone. That's how we came up with our request for $20,000. One of our mantras is "Build a Little, Test a Lot". Of course, we have a lot more subsystems to build!
We have a set plan, with several milestones along the way, covering the build and integration of all of our major components. However, even with our long term planning and constant drive to keep costs at a minimum, this is still rocket science and it ain't cheap. It would take us about $4 million to have one Hermes Spacecraft ready for paying customers, and $8 million to realize our three year plan.
We want the Kickstarter community to show their support for a home-grown space project, and we're prepared to do great things with any extra funding we receive. We would use any extra funds graciously and with purpose to help fulfill our vision
The Hermes Team
The Hermes Core team is made up of aerospace entrepreneurs. We are a small team of experienced, ‘hands-on’, multi-disciplined engineers, working on this project in our spare time, on nights and weekends. We are backed by an extensive talent pool that we call the "Hermes Pit Crew": people who have directly helped us with our work on the Hermes.
*Story Musgrave is not an active member of our team nor directly endorses us, but he did think the Hermes was pretty cool!
So to sum up our story...
The Hermes Spacecraft is the brainchild of founder, Morris Jarvis. Morris has been dreaming of going to space since he was a boy, and started the initial design for the Hermes in 1978. The Hermes combines today’s latest commercially available advances in the aerospace industry with the lessons learned from 60 years of manned spaceflight, and we're looking to offer safe, affordable access to space. The current prototype has been a work in progress for the past decade, but we've been ramping up our efforts in the past year.
Please get to know us by checking out any of our links below. We hope we've proven to you that people are still as passionate about space as ever. If you've always wanted to be an astronaut, if you find yourself looking up at the night sky in wonder, if you love high tech and big engines: join us. Help us get the word out about the new space race and what we are trying to do. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask and we will try to answer to the best of our ability. Thanks again for checking out our Hermes Spacecraft project!
I am very pleased to announce that our tiers are now cumulative! What this means, is that whatever tier you pledge, we will give you all tiers below that level! This is retroactive for all backers (thanks again!).
The only exception to this is our $500 tier. You will not get a paperweight at this level. Please message us if you'd like to work something out to receive both items.
No it cannot. What we have created is a prototype model. Think of what we're doing as what the Enterprise Space Shuttle was for the space program. We are developing key subsystems and demonstrating our build capability before we go out and assembling the entire vehicle and do flight testing. The goal of any prototype is to establish a basic proof of concept for as little money as possible. That's what we've done with our prototype so far, and that's our push for the Hermes Rocket Motor as well. That's why we're excited about our Kickstarter project. We have a full engine core design ready to go and start testing; with that amount of funding we could iterate through our design process the way we really want to.
Pledge $5 or more
Your name will appear on a special 'backer' page on our website, hermesspace.comEstimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
Hermes Stickers - You'll get a large sticker of the Hermes logo you can put on your own rocket... or something more reasonable like a laptop.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Hermes Exclusive Access - Receive exclusive announcements of our major milestone accomplishments and important updates before the general public. We'll also throw in access to a live feed for our first engine test firing.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or more
Join the Hermes Pit Crew - You'll get a T-Shirt or Polo Shirt (your choice) with our logo on the front and "Hermes Pit Crew" on the back. We'll also sign your name on the Hermes Test Motor and film it for you before we do our first engine firing.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or more
Personalized Payload - On the Hermes maiden test flight, we'll have a special Kickstarter payload capsule on board, which will contain your name and a personalized message. After it's successfully gone to space, we'll send it back to you!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or more
Rocket Engine Paper Weight - You'll get a miniature replica of the Hermes Test Motor, machined and assembled at our shop out of polished stainless steel. A perfect way to keep those pesky papers from launching off your desk!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
Handcrafted Hermes Model - Here's your opportunity to get a 1/20th scale Hermes Model, created, shaped, sanded and painted at our shop. Each model will come with a certificate, signed by the Hermes Team and include pictures of the team making your specific model.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
Hermes Team Skype - The Hermes Team founders will set up a 1 hour video session with you and your family, friends, coworkers, or students. We'll go over the state of the aerospace industry, our plans for the next year or two, show you how we create our engines in the shop and answer any questions you have about what we do or anything about space!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or more
Sky High Advertisement - Earn your place in history by being one of the few people who have advertised on a spacecraft. We'll proudly reserve a spot for your name, company, or whatever you'd like to see on the skin of the Hermes, up through it's first test launch.Estimated delivery:
Ignition - You'll get round trip with accommodations to the first Hermes Test Motor firing. We'll show you around our shop, teach you how to build a rocket engine, and then we're off to the desert to fire our test engine. Be the first to pledge here and we'll let you press the ignition button.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)