03A 25-year-old English chap with a superb moustache is building a rocket that will help set a new land speed record. Daniel Jubb is working on the Bloodhound SSC, a rocket-powered car whose makers plan to break not only the current record of 760.343 mph, held by Briton Andy Green, but also to break the 1,000mph mark.
Mr. Green will also be the driver of the Bloodhound SSC. The vehicle will use a prototype jet engine, originally developed for the Eurofighter, to take it to 300mph. Then a hybrid rocket, designed by Mr. Jubb, will boost the car to 1,050mph, faster than a speeding bullet.
Daniel Jubb left school at 13 and is almost entirely self-taught, yet is regarded as one of the world’s leading rocket scientists. His first major rocket launch took place in 1998 when Daniel was 14. He and his grandfather built the Falcon VII mark 3 in their garage, launching it from Otterburn military range in Northumberland. The 14-foot rocket reached a terminal velocity of Mach 1.2 (900mph), putting them firmly in the lead of Britain’s amateur space race. For a full interview with Mr. Jubb, see The Chap issue 43.
Daniel now designs rockets for the U.S. Military under the aegis of his Falcon Project. He still operates the business out of his parents’ garage, which he has converted into a space station. He claims to have had a moustache since he was 12. Indeed, a photograph exists of him, aged 13, on a missile-test platform at Otterburn Army Training Estate, Cumbria, with a hairy top lip. Tragedy nearly struck, however, when he was 15. A small explosion during an experiment burnt off half his moustache. His mother made him shave off the other half, but since then it has blossomed into a fine example of a British Handlebar.