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Vulture 1 spaceplane launch countdown on hold

PARIS team struggle with weather, recalcitrant donkeys

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The planned launch of PARIS has been knocked back until Sunday due to less than favourable weather.

While rest of the team watches the skies for approaching rain, sparks Steve Daniels (callsign G6UIM) has been busy testing the GPS/APRS location system aboard Vulture 1, which is working a treat. Ditto the main payload radio beacon and GPS tracker units.

That's more than you can say for the PARIS ground command-and-support vehicle, which this morning suffered a total electronic systems failure, restricting personnel at the fabrication complex to donkey transport. We take this not as an ill omen but as a sign we were right to insist on a mechanical Vulture 1 release mechanism - ensuring that any such mishap during the launch would not prevent a successful supra-atmospheric deployment for the cutting edge paper spacecraft and its diminutive but highly experienced pilot.

Whatever the weather on Sunday, we'll be at the launch site at 9am, and if there should be another countdown hold we're currently looking at Tuesday as the best bet for clear skies.

We'll have details tomorrow of just how you can follow the live launch and pursuit here on El Reg, so tune in for the full run-down. ®

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, for your viewing pleasure.
  • Check out our YouTube channel - currently featuring a few kit tests.

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