Feeds

LOHAN team buried under ballockets

Click here for a shedload of Reg reader spaceplane launch concepts

High performance access to file storage

Taking a quick break from the serious and seriously well thought out, let's offer a nod to Alex Jarvis who admits to "many hours photoshopping" to present this explosive concept to the world:

Vulture 2 launched through exploding balloon

Here's the idea: "The premise of this would be you reach launch altitude and fire the rocket and the helium balloon bursts at the same time / fraction of a second later (using a small explosive charge...). The rocket then shoots up and past where the balloon was... Guess there may be a chance to get tangled with the remains of the balloon, but I have a cunning idea for that too. Fill the balloon with hydrogen so when you pop it there will be no remains left due to the awesome explosion you will get. So no launch booms, counterweights etc are required, mount LOHAN underneath and fire through the balloon wreckage! Foolproof launch plan, nothing could go wrong, what is my prize?"

Since you ask, your prize is exactly the same as that on its way to Ross Hartnell, who provided the pic below. Specifically, it's a warning letter from the Civil Aviation Authority warning the pair of you to stay away from rocket motors or face the consequences...

Vulture 2 launched in a tube inside the balloon

Right, onwards. Pretty much all of the above is based on using a single, bog standard balloon.

But what about the toroidal alternative? Eddie, it's over to you: "I get the impression that the launch boom would need to be very strong to support the weight of the ship, and be perfectly balanced with the counter-weight. However I believe there may be a see-saw action involved with the launch boom and counter-weight, when the ship takes off. My idea saves on the use of the launch boom and counter-weight, saving on weight and provides the opportunity of a vertical launch.

"The basic idea is to make the helium balloon a ring, much like a doughnut, with cables going from four (or three to save weight) ringed attachments. The payload will be centred in the middle of the hole (a very large on) approx 10 – 15 metres below. This will allow the structure to remain stable throughout the process.

"The ship will be launched from this point (through the hole in the ring). This allows the ship to launch vertically missing the balloon minus any see-saw actions or instability, provided the helium ring is large enough with a wide hole to allow the ship through with plenty of wiggle room there should be no problems, a device could be fitted to the ring to allow it to make a controlled decent shortly after launch.

"This method will save the weight of the launch boom and counter-weight, needing only the payload (marked as PL in images), the ship and the weight of the balloon plus cables.

"I feel that this may be a little complicated with finding the materials needed (the balloon mainly) and working out all the volumes and harness methods."

Vulture 2 suspended in the middle of a toroidal balloon

Eddie adds: "An alternative suggestion if a single balloon is preferred is to make the balloon flat and build a launch platform on top, a payload supported below the balloon will help maintain stability."

An alternative toroidal set-up, the the launch platform on top of the balloon

Mark Goldie also likes a bit of torus action, but with counterweights to keep it stable:

Another toroidal balloon, with counterweights to keep it stable

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.