DIY Space Exploration
Running with the idea, it turns out that commercial off-the-shelf satellite space will run you about 8 grand.
Moving away from rockets, the MAKE: team managed to use 'weather balloons' and helium to hit 109,000 feet. (http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2007/03/diy_space_make_video_podc.html)
My idea/question in this.
If you can get a payload near space, what if your payload is a small rocket that fires at the peak height, could you drag something (kicking and screaming) into orbit?
Thoughts and discussion here, I'm really excited about this!