Feeds

PARIS emerges triumphant from hypobaric chamber

Vulture 1's Mk 2 release mechanism cleared for take-off

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

After half an hour of fiddling, we stuck the whole assembly in the hypobaric chamber. In the spirit of garden shed boffinry, it's supporting a test weight of 500 grammes of alumimium oxide grit in a plastic milk carton:

The mechanism in the hypobaric chamber

You'll note a few extra bits and pieces sharing the table. At top centre, you can see three chunks of test foam: polystyrene, styrofoam and coarse packing foam.

They're in there to see if, as several of you predicted, they will expand at altitude. We glued a strip of paper round each to have physical evidence of any bloating. Styrofoam is an essential mission material, since it houses the Vulture 1 GPS/APRS unit, and our main payload box is entirely made of the stuff.

Below the foam are two lengths of paper straw, each sealed at boths ends with glue, but one enjoying the benefit of a tiny vent hole in its length, made with a needle.

Finally, we've got our Mk 1 mechanism. Suspicions were that it didn't work because air was seeping between the surface of the ground glass plunger and the inside of the syringe. To find out, we slapped some of the low-temperature grease on the plunger.

And now the big moment. Did the Mk 2 mechanism work? Did the greased Mk 1 shake its bootie? Did the styrofoam bloat like Vanessa Feltz at an all-you-can-eat buffet? Did the unvented straw go bang?

Only one man could answer these questions: Chas Taylor at the controls...

Chas Taylor at the controls of the hypobaric chamber

And the answers to these questions are: yes, no, no and no, respectively.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.