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Self-taught rocketeer's backyard is Jetson-like reality

By Motherboard.tv staff
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Man's backyard is Jetson-like reality
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mexican scientist devises, builds, tests jetpacks in his backyard
  • Juan Manuel Lozano has traveled world with inventions; worked with U.S. Navy, Boeing
  • Lozano's other creations include rocket bicycle, rocket motorcycle, personal helicopter

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Brooklyn, New York (VBS.TV) -- Before you complain again about living in 2010 and not yet having a jetpack to fly you to work, consider taking a trip to Mexico. There's only one person in the world who produces a complete flying rocket belt from start to finish -- from the parts to the fuel that powers it. His name is Juan Manuel Lozano and he lives in Cuernavaca, a city two hours south of Mexico City.

So VBS sister technology channel Motherboard.tv traveled to visit him at his company, TAM (Tecnología Aeroespacial Mexicana). A self-taught scientist and inventor whose technologies have traveled the world from Turkey to Switzerland, from Boeing to the U.S. Navy, Lozano considers his biggest achievement not his jetpack, but a machine that produces pure hydrogen peroxide that he uses as fuel for most of his inventions. Apart from his rocket belt, he's assembled a rocket bicycle, rocket motorcycle, rocket dragster and a personal helicopter.

Then there's the hydrogen-peroxide-powered rocket belt. While at least one company has recently promised to bring personal flying machines to market, these conveyances only rely on propellers, not jets. But the real thing ain't cheap. If you can't afford the system, priced at around U.S. $125,000, you can pay him to drop by your party for only $20,000.

See the rest of Backyard Rocketeer at VBS.TV

Among many other projects, Lozano's working with a group of scientists on a car that will run on seawater, converted into hydrogen peroxide by electrolytic cells powered by solar energy. It's a project, he says, that will completely transform transportation and energy in the near future.

Lozano and his daughter -- the only woman to fly a jetpack -- take his creations for test-drives in their backyard. While he couldn't fly for us (he recently broke his ribs and shoulder while taking his rocket bike for a spin at 80 mph), he gave us a tour of his workshop to share with us his favorite machines and a philosophy of invention built on hard work, self-teaching, and lots of jet fuel.