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PARIS laid bare in intimate snaps

Our space plane mission's bumper photo album

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We thought those of you who've been loyally following our "appallingly successful" Paper Aircraft Released Into Space project might enjoy a few behind-the-scenes views of our crack team and local Spanish support operatives as the historic attempt unfolded. For those of you seeking hires copies on Flickr, or video from YouTube, skip to the last page of this article and scroll down to the bottom for copious resources.

Before PARIS opens the family album, though, it's only right and proper that we offer a round of applause for all those people without who we'd never have got off the ground.

So, please step forward (in no particular order): telescope man Alejandro Díaz; José María Pita, who offered wine and Spanish press releases; my son Rui (aka Rui Uno), who agreed to put on a dress in honour of Paris Hilton; Rui Luz (aka Rui Dos), provider of victuals to hungry donkeys when their owner was away staring into a hypobaric chamber; Tim D'Oyly and Chas Taylor, operators of said chamber down at QinetiQ, whose enthusiasm and support was vital; Tito and Yolanda of Bar Tito, Navatejares, suppliers of essential beery goodness; expert balloon handler Jose Manuel Gomez Paris; Federico Buenadicha, who not only agreed to tackle the Vulture 1 CAD, but proved a vital member of the pursuit team; Heikki Hannikainen of aprs.fi, and Bluetree Services, who both allowed our backroom boys to slurp their data feeds; and our Reg colleagues Cade Metz, Phil "Phillipe" Mitchell and Lewis Page, the remote support team, in various capacities.

And, of course, we salute our illustrious sponsors, Peer 1 Hosting.

So, let's have a look at some snaps. We'll kick off with Steve Daniels, me, Tito and John Oates posing outside our man's bar in the command central village of Navatejares:

Steve, Lester and John with Tito and the Vulture 1

Tito was a bit taken with the Vulture 1, as was local old boy Guillermo, who never misses a chance to sidle into the frame:

Tito and Guillermo with the Vulture 1

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