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Ina team of British rocket enthusiasts spent 4, pounds roughly 6, U. Amateur rockets that reached space by rocketeer Richard Brown, the rocket stood Three years earlier, the U. That rocket allegedly reached an altitude of roughly 70 miles kilometers [source: AP ]. While CSXT's expenses aren't publicly known, estimations run in the tens of thousands of dollars [source: Graham-Rowe ].

Of course, such high costs are the reason the X Prize Foundation and likeminded organizations exist: to provide lucrative cash prizes to those who push the boundaries of independent space research. So let's forget about building a space rocket in your shed, at least for the moment. What about balloons? The idea itself is nothing new.

Again, if space begins at either the mile kilometer or the mile kilometer point, the historic flight more than qualified the balloon as a spacecraft. The 31, square-foot 2, square-meter Amateur rockets that reached space consisted of a reflective aluminum coating over an inflated Mylar plastic sphere [source: Choi ]. You can think of it as an absurdly oversized Amateur rockets that reached space tree ornament -- one capable of reaching staggering altitudes.

Several amateur "space balloons" have made the headlines in recent years, and with good reason. For instance on Sept. As such, these ambitious efforts have only reached "near-space. So for now, space flight would seem to remain the exclusive domain of nations and private companies. Do Astronauts Need Sunscreen in Space? Chanel iman victoria secret show NEXT.

Rockets and Balloons Striving to Reach Space. May 18, March 1, March 25,

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