Photos: Behind the Scenes of 'Rocket City Rednecks'

Rednecks and Moonshine-powered Rocket

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Rednecks pose with their moonshine-powered rocket post-launch. (L to R) Michael Taylor, Travis Taylor, Charles "Daddy" Taylor, Pete Erbach (standing), Rog Jones.

Rocket City Rednecks Moonshine Rocket Test

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Rog ignites a test rocket using the gangs moonshine which Travis holds in the background

Rocket City Rednecks

National Geographic Channel

Meet the Rocket City Rednecks (L to R): Dr. Pete Erbach, Rog Jones, Dr. Travis Taylor, Charles "Daddy" Taylor, Michael Taylor.

Rocket City Rednecks Assembling Moonshine Rocket

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Pete, Michael and Travis assemble the final moonshine rocket at the launch site.

Rocket City Rednecks Igniting Moonshine Rocket Fuel

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Travis ignites the final moonshine rocket.

Rocket City Rednecks Moon Buggy

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The gang built their own moon buggy and entered it into the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Great Moon Buggy Race. The race is 18-years-old and is an annual competition to see which moon buggy can traverse the simulated lunar surface obstacle course in the quickest time. The 7/10 mile course is riddled with different lunar obstacles not limited to large rocks, mushy gravel pits, and moon craters.

Rocket City Rednecks Hillbilly Armageddon

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In his day job at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Travis has explored ways to protect the Earth from collision with an asteroid, and now he's putting these ideas to the test in the episode "Hillbilly Armageddon." To mimic the flight pattern of an asteroid, they built a medieval catapult using a keg of beer to fling a frozen watermelon into the air. Once the watermelon is launched, a rifle-wielding robot shoots it out of the sky. In the above photo, the Rednecks take astroid target practice.

Rocket City Rednecks Close Encounters

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Entire organizations like SETI are dedicated to the search for alien intelligence - but the Rednecks reckon they can listen for ET using only a cast-off satellite dish and hillbilly ingenuity in the episode "Close Encounters of the Redneck Kind."

Rocket City Rednecks on Red Planet

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Most scientists think a manned mission to Mars would take at least one and a half years and billions of dollars, but Travis thinks it can be done faster and cheaper. To test his theory, the Rednecks convert a beat-up old RV into a simulated interplanetary spaceship outfitted with a satellite control station, basic supplies and a "pee reactor" that converts urine into drinking water.The Rednecks piloted the "spacecraft" for 36 hours straight.

Rocket City Rednecks build Exoskeleton Suit

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The Rednecks want to build a lightweight, bullet-proof exoskeleton suit that can augment human strength and fire weapons. Travis is fastened into the Ironman suit before the final test run. The suit was made with small motors and other car parts, Daddy's BBQ smoker and postal tubes.

Bomb-proof Truck?

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Travis has an innovative idea to make Humvees more resistant to roadside bombs, and it involves about 500 beer cans. He tested his armor on his nephew's old Ford pickup truck.

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