is a rocket hobbyist. A lot of us have messed with Estes Model Rockets
, which start at about $13 for a pre-assembled rocket that can go 800 feet straight up. Derek's rockets are on a whole different level. His personal rocket altitude record is closer to 33 miles
, which is about 150 times as high as the entry-level Estes rocket -- and takes more than 150 times as much effort to build and launch. Derek's employer, Syntheon LLC
, helps him out a lot with tools and materials. Lots of other people help him, too. Derek has been mentioned
on Slashdot before
. This video is a chance to get to know him a bit better. And anyone who shoots rockets to the top of the Stratosphere
for fun is worth knowing, right?