No Big Deal, But a Man Just Flew a Jetpack Around a U.S. Government Building

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
May 19 2014 1:49 PM

Man Flies Jetpack Around Government Building, Because Why Not

Jet pack at Ronald Reagan building
Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.

Screenshot / Video courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine

If you’re going to hold a festival called “The Future Is Here,” as Smithsonian Magazine did in Washington, D.C., this weekend, you’d best have some demonstrations to back it up. As you can see in the video below, Smithsonian did not disappoint. The venue is the Ronald Reagan Building.

I’ve written before about the Martin Jetpack, which is actually powered not by jets but by a four-cylinder engine. This one is from a company called Jet Pack International and runs on hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen dioxide. Technically, it’s not a jetpack either, but a rocket belt, and can only keep its wearer aloft for 25 seconds. But hey, that’s 24 seconds longer than you can stay aloft without one.

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Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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