Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - Hey guys, this is Austin. And this is something a little different. Today's story actually takes place on the other side of the country. Meet Joe Barnard, a rocket scientist who inspired by a certain aerospace company has started to develop his own self landing rocket just on a slightly different scale and with no formal education. I mean, this guy designs and builds pretty much everything all by himself and is able to keep the lights on by documenting the entire process and selling some of the components. However, right about now, he's preparing for his biggest challenge yet. This has been an absolutely massive project, and it wouldn't had been possible without our friends at LastPass who sponsored this portion of the video. With LastPass you don't need to write, remember, or reset your passwords, as it will keep all of them safe and secure inside the LastPass vault. And it will even generate brand new super secure passwords for you. 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So if your password game is in need of an upgrade, definitely be sure to go check out LastPass at the link in the description, and again huge, huge thank you to LastPass for making this video possible and sponsoring this madness. (birds chirp) (computer beeps) (drone buzzes) - Okay, and it's time. Here we go. (bright music) (rocket fires) The BPS Echo test vehicle. This is actually the computer I use to land the rockets. (computer beeps) (rocket fires) This is like extremely basic stuff. We're only firing a single core vehicle, which means we only need four clamps. These four here. (machines whirl) You know, this is how they really do it in real aerospace companies. They have just one desk, and there's like just trash all over it. Okay, so the whole thing is put together, the motor's inserted. (computer beeps) (clamps creak) Hey, bingo! And then if we release the clamps. This is what happened at launch. It's good to go. And that's how they work. (computer beeps) (switch clicks) (rocket fires) And done. Well, done with that part. Now there are like several hundred other more parts. Before I got any footage of anything working, the general consensus was, no, you can't do this. I put this by the door so that if there's a fire, it's gonna be a lot harder to get out. - [Announcer] Five, four, three, two, one. (rocket fires) (rocket fires) I studied at the Berklee College of Music. The joke is that at Berklee they teach you how to say, "Do you want fries with that?" I have been making YouTube videos of like cover songs and original songs in my parents basement for years. (indie rock music) ♪ And when she said no ♪ ♪ I said no, no, no ♪ ♪ I said no ♪ ♪ No ♪ So I got better at film making, and some point I realized people will pay me money for this. And that's a surprisingly big motivator. I had been working in film for awhile. It was just something I saw scrolling on Facebook. It was this little video of SpaceX doing a test with what's called the Falcon 9 Dev-R. It's a rocket booster, but it's not going into space. It's just doing little hop tests down in Texas somewhere. I saw that, and I was like, oh, man. I need to be working for these people. I had to like prove in a non-go-back-to-college kind of way that I was serious about it. I thought maybe I could try to like land a model rocket. It's just a model rocket. Like how hard could it be? (drum roll music) And I still haven't been able to land it. Welcome to the rocket factory (laughs), which is my apartment, not a factory. There's a lot of propellant in one apartment, and it's all in a fireproof box. Don't worry, Mom. We've got our washer here, and a 3D printer number one. And the dryer here, and 3D printer number two. We can do both laundry and 3D printing services here. Moving to Nashville was like the most painful experience of my life. I had been in Boston for a few years watching all of my friends slowly leave. It was just a slow steady downward hill of emotion. I had to move home with my parents for a few months just 'cause like money's tough, man. I got some recognition for my work from like larger aerospace entities. - One potential future for our hobby. - [Joe] One of them is SpaceX. And like Elon has like seen my tweets. They send a big Dragon spacecraft up to the space station, and then they tried to land their booster on the drone ship out in the ocean. - [Announcer] And the Falcons have landed. - It was a realization of like uh-oh. Like they're really serious. There's been like several different instances where it seems like a drop could've panned out. And then it just has never felt like the right time. Every single BPS launch has taken place between this piece of wood and this launch pad. And at some point, I'd spent enough money so that I was like, all right, something has to change. So we're gonna have to do something else. So that this can be not cashflow negative. So for awhile I thought we could sell the flight computers directly to model rocketry consumers. I made this in September of 2015. I have failed a whole lot. And I figure if I can save other people some time trying to do these similar things, that would be great. We're in the black now. The business works. It makes money, but it did not for awhile. Most projects or tasks or jobs that look difficult are, but not if you've been doing them for awhile. So like all of these things that are just so dry and boring to learn, they all become cool once you know what you're working toward. You can learn most things on YouTube. It's kind of coming full circle though.