The leader of the group is Dr. Travis Taylor who is a scientist with the U.S. Army and who has worked with NASA and the Department of Defense. Dr. Travis holds several Ph.D.’s in areas such as Aerospace Systems Engineering, Optical Science and Engineering, and others. His father, Charles Taylor is an original NASA machinist who helped to send people into space. Travis’s nephew Michael Taylor is in the Air Force and will be deployed to Afghanistan this year for his fourth deployment. Travis’s brother-in-law Pete is an optical scientist and has a Ph.D as well. Also helping out is Travis’s best friend Rog Jones.
These guys spend their weekends working on various projects but these projects are done in a redneck way. A typical episode features the five main cast members and sometimes the addition of an expert in the field related to the particular challenge of that show. The challenges are varied, usually involving constructing a machine to achieve a particular objective. Some of the projects have included a mechanical “ironman” suit, a submarine, a spy satellite, steam-powered catapult, death ray, bike to deliver Papa John’s Pizzas, and many more cool projects!
The cast from Rocket City Rednecks hopes to inspire viewers and get Americans, especially the next generation, excited about the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) again. As you know, interest has fallen in science and mathematics in the United States in the past few years. I think the show is very creative and it does show people that you don’t need any fancy parts to build whether you want. Sure, the projects shows some redneck designs in them. But the projects work well and the guys have a fun time doing what they do. They would not be invited to be on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno if they were not having fun and were successful.
For the season 2 finale episode tonight, Travis Taylor will be shown running the 26.2 mile Marine Corps Marathon wearing one of the group’s latest inventions, a lightweight full body armor suit. He ran wearing the Redneck’s Full-body Armor Suit Test Unit No. 1, known as FASTU1, with a removable face mask. The suit is made or Kevlar, Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (same type used in fishing line and hip replacements) canvas, polyurethane, polyuria and polycarbonate materials. It weighs 40 pounds, about the same weight as the military’s current armor which only protects the torso. The suit is both bullet and blast proof.
The show also covers the testing of the suit prior to the marathon, including making sure it can withstand war-time conditions. To test the suit’s mobility, Travis endured civilian boot camp with a retired military sergeant. Travis hopes one day a body suit that is bullet and blast-proof will save the lives of combat troops. This episode will air tonight at 9:30 pm / 8:30 pm central on National Geographic Channel.
To learn more about Rocket City Rednecks go to: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/rocket-city-rednecks/
View several full episodes of Rocket City Rednecks by clicking the link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=ELG3T_sA7EttU
- Season finale of Rocket City Rednecks gives viewers a look at new body armor suit in action (al.com)
- ‘Rocket City Rednecks’: Travis Taylor, Rog Jones Tease ‘Bigger, Bolder’ Season Two (sfluxe.com)
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