Maker Faire Bay Area 2013

DIY Rocketeers! Winning the Carmack Prize

DayStart TimeEnd TimeLocationsVideo Coverage
Saturday4:30 PM5:00 PM

The dream of space has tantalized many men and women. Advances in technology now enable DIY rocketeers to reach new milestones. On September 11, 2012, a team of experienced hobbyists reached 104k' with full recovery.

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Explore Similar Projects in these Areas: Computers, DIY Projects, Electronics, Ham Radio, Rockets, Science, Space


Ken Biba — Chairman

AeroPac, Inc

Ken, like many amateur rocketeers, made and flew Estes rockets as a young man, looked at Sputnik and dreamed of being an astronaut. Sadly he has no hand/eye coordination, so Plan B was physics and computer science and a career as a serial high tech entrepreneur and engineer. As the co-founder of Sytek, Ken helped invent cable modems and as the Chief Operating Officer of Xircom, helped create what we know to today as WiFi. In the process of introducing his 4 y/o son to those same rockets in the early 1990s he discovered "Daddy" rockets and never turned back. Today, Ken has been an L3 flier for about 18 years, is a member of Tripoli (AeroPac) and NAR (LUNAR), the Chairman of the BoD of AeroPac, former BoD member of Tripoli, member of Tripoli's TAP, Chairman of AeroPac's ARLISS program and former ARLISS flier, long time (astonishingly) holder of Tripoli's N altitude record, and leader of Team AeroPac (winner of the Carmack Prize). He volunteers for NAR's Student Launch Initiative and Team America Rocketry Competition (currently mentoring two teams). With Bob Twiggs (inventor of the CanSat), he created the Virtual Classroom as an instrument to bring rocket science to the Internet.

Casey Barker — Software Engineer


Casey is a software engineer at Google, where he specializes in networking and embedded systems. Prior to Google, he was a founding engineer and technical lead at MeshNetworks, where he developed wireless mesh technologies that led to a successful acquisition. He received Motorola's Distinguished Innovator award and is an inventor of 24 US patents. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida. Following a 20-year hiatus from model rocketry, Casey joined LUNAR in 2010 and completed his NAR Level 1, 2, and 3 certifications in 2011. He is also a member of Tripoli Rocketry Association and AeroPac, and a licensed amateur radio operator (KC1C).


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