SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel Developer Forum -- Like many Americans coming of age during the time of the Apollo missions, Morris Jarvis dreamed of someday blasting off into space. As a child he sat glued to the television set as man walked on the moon, and he later studied aerospace engineering in college. Over the years Jarvis built countless models of spaceships, exhaustively studied the space shuttle program and even interviewed real astronauts and NASA engineers. But even his friends and co-workers were a little surprised when in 1993 he stopped dreaming and started building a space shuttle in his garage in suburban Phoenix.
Jarvis founded Star Systems Inc. and began working evenings, weekends and vacations, even recruiting some of his engineering colleagues in his quest. The result is a prototype of his Hermes Spacecraft, which is on public display for the first time at the Intel Developer Forum.
Morris and his team are building Hermes out of their own pockets and figure they need about $1.5 million to finish the test work and begin regular space flights. The team is undertaking a grassroots fundraising effort to secure the remaining dollars as well as recruiting other "dreamers" for their mission.
"There isn't a geek out there who hasn't dreamed of being an astronaut," says Jarvis. "We're all dreamers."
Hermes, named for the mythological Greek God of boundaries and the travelers who cross them, is a technological marvel loaded with some of Intel's most advanced embedded chips including the Intel(R) EP80579 Integrated Processor SOC product line and the Intel(R) Atom(TM) processor Z5xx series. Intel technology powers most of the spacecraft's data gathering, test and communications systems. Other companies assisting the Hermes team include ADI Engineering, Dot Hill, GE Fanuc, MicroSun, and National Instruments.