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Sat, Oct 21, 2006

XPrize Cup: Dr. Zooch Is In the Building!

Klyde Morris Creator Seeks To Inspire Future Space Explorers

By ANN Correspondent Juan Jiménez

"Space flight is as much about inspiration as it is about exploration."

So says Wes Oleszweski, creator of Klyde Morris, the only ant in aviation, and founder of  "Dr. Zooch's Rockets," a model rocket kit manufacturing company.

Best known for the fictional characters in his popular cartoon strips, Oleszewski got involved in model rocketry in the 1970's as a teenager. Over the years he developed his skills in the hobby, and in 2004 decided to form his own company, "Dr. Zooch's Rockets". The company is named after one of the characters in his cartoon strip "The Program," and its driving force is Oleszewski's desire to have his products reflect the history of space flight.

His model rocket kits are made of balsa wood and paper, and are fairly simple to build. Most take one or two "rainy weekends" to complete, with the exception of his Space Shuttle kit, which takes a full week to complete on average.

On a complexity and skills-required scale of 1 to 4, he believes his kits rate a 2 or 3. Asked to translate that into English, Oleszewkski noted some model building experience is required. However, he also added he intends to release a line of products geared to the novice builder later this year.

All kits are priced at $24.95 except for the Space Shuttle kit, which carries a $27.95 price tag. He will ship worldwide. The kits use Estes-style 18mm diameter "B" or "C" engines, which are not included. If you ask nicely and promise to never, ever squash another ant, he will even put together special purchase programs for schools.

FMI: www.drzooch.com

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