PARIS launch go for 23 Oct
Where? Click here to find out
The Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) team is delighted to announce today that the launch of our Vulture 1 aircraft will take place on Saturday, 23 October.
Now, you'll be wondering just where this historic event will take place, and the answer is right here (.kmz) - 1909 metres above sea level at the Peña Negra in the Spanish province of Avila.
The site is ideal for a number of reasons. First up, it's a major centre for paragliding, surrounded in all directions by sparsely-populated countryside which has few major roads, towns or bodies of water in a 40km radius. Here's a quick vid showing the location and the views from the top:
So, the chances of coming down somewhere awkward are minimal. For this reason, the powers that be (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea, aka AENA) don't consider PARIS a major threat to property or population, and have given a green light for the launch.
Secondly, we have to consider the weather. The PARIS schedule has been knocked backed a few times, mainly due to the release mechanism challenge. We need to get the Vulture 1 airborne before winter sets in, and our launch site offers an excellent chance of a spell of clear weather within the late October window.
The UK-based members of the PARIS team are, of course, absolutely gutted that they'll have to fly out to Spain for the big day, but are putting a brave face on the prospect of strange foreign food washed down with lashing of cheap wine. We hope you'll spare a moment to consider those less fortunate than yourselves and the sacrifices they make in the name of science.
On board for the jaunt will be Reg hack John Oates, whose mechanical savvy makes him an essential team member, and radio man Steve Daniels (callsign G6UIM), who'll be operating the tracking kit (more on that here).
They'll be backed by an enthusiastic group of locals, including telescope chap Alejandro Díaz and a couple of volunteer drivers to man the pursuit vehicles. We'd like to take the opportunity to raise a pint in particular to Alejandro, who did all the legwork with AENA.
It looks like we're all set to go, then, and down in the PARIS fab bunker, the Vulture 1 continues to take shape... ®
Additional PARIS resources
- Our dedicated PARIS section, with all previous updates, is right here.
- New to PARIS? We have a basic mission summary here (pdf).
- Our Flickr page, with all previous photos.
- Check out our YouTube channel - currently featuring a few kit tests.
Can't flippin' wait
Will there be live streaming of the Flight Director polling for a Go / No Go like in Apollo 13 or something?
Telescope chap...¡vamos!, er, I mean go!
....wrong story. Googled "Paris being well and truly launched" and wasnt what I expected.
Do not ...
get too frisky with the old "ooh look I've breathed a load of helium and talk in a funny voice" trick.
Firstly, a one off is fine, but ... do it too many times in a short space of time, and you don't get any oxygen into your bloodstream .. but the weird thing about breathing helium is .. it doesn't make you feel out of breath or anything ... you just start getting light headed and then pass out and bang your head on the workshop bench on the way down.
Not that I would know, as obviously I would not have done that ....
also, do not have a few too many beers and use helium to fill bin-bags .. and then let them off skywards with great long length of bog-roll tied to them .. which you set alight as they are about 100 foot up ... and watch them disappear .. flaming, into the night sky ... as the police will take a dim view of that sort of thing.
Not that I have done that either .. oh no.