Man to launch bottle rocket into orbit
Several years ago, one of Ken Schellenberg's "toy" rockets - actually a Kevlar-reinforced, experimental, single-stage missile pressurized with compressed nitrogen and packing high-tech instruments - flew to just under 379 metres.
Based on that research, Schellenberg is now convinced that it will be possible to put a bottle rocket into orbit. In preparation, he's working on sending a modified two-stage rocket - reinforced with ultra-strong carbon-fibre and fuelled by liquid CO2 - up about five kilometres.
"I've already got the thing half-built," he said.
From a large workshop in a pasture behind his home on a wooded mountain plateau high above the Fraser River valley, Schellenberg designs and builds "state-of-the-art-technology" pop-bottle rockets.
They're made by attaching plastic or cardboard fins to an empty bottle, punching a hole in the bottle top to act as a nozzle and pressurizing the bottle with air from a bicycle pump.
Add some water before pumping in the air and the bottle will go higher. Add a squirt of dish soap to the water and it goes even higher.