Discovery-owned Science Channel is to blast-off with DIY rocketeers on their hopeful galactic mission with the greenlight of Homemade Astronauts.
Now in production, the World of Wonder-made series (pictured) will document the journey of three self-financed teams in their cosmic quest to explore the galaxy on a shoestring budget.
Featured throughout Homemade Astronauts (working title) will be Mike Hughes and Waldo Stakes, who are designing a manned rocket-balloon hybrid – dubbed the “Rock-oon” – they hope will soar to the Karman line, the border between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
Ky Michaelson, meanwhile, will attempt to become the first amateur to build and launch a fuel-powered, manned space rocket after already serving as the first civilian to build and launch an unmanned rocket into space.
The final self-financed team is headed by Cameron Smith, and is creating a spacesuit that can withstand the elements of space travel. Smith will hitch a ride on a specialized hot air balloon to the Armstrong line – beginning at an altitude of 60,000 feet – in order to test out the readiness of his invention.
Homemade Astronauts is expected to premiere in 2020 on Science Channel.
World of Wonder’s Jeremy Simmons, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell serve as executive producers alongside Science Channel’s Caroline Perez. Lindsey Foster Blumberg is supervising producer for Science.
“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 Science Channel GM Marc Etkind, in a statement.