Feeds

LOHAN team buried under ballockets

Click here for a shedload of Reg reader spaceplane launch concepts

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Well, the doughnut balloon plan kind of has legs, if someone out there can find one, but it is of course just a single unit. That simply doesn't satisfy some of you, including David Green.

He says: "One possibility would be to use a vertical stack of smaller diameter balloons to reduce the required length of the launch boom as envisaged in your published sketch."

A stack of smaller balloons supporting LOHAN launch boom

The most popular, three balloon set-up, however, was like this one fired over by Adam Newton:

Vulture 2 in a hoop between three balloons

The modified hoop launch system

DMoz got busy again, with this trio of orbs:

Vulture 2 launched up a tube between three balloons

He elaborates: "Essentially the LOHAN craft would be launched from the top of a pole above the balloons. The payload would be situated at the bottom as normal. This can only really work if there is a possibility of attaching stabilising wires to the top of the balloons as well as the bottom, as I can't imagine any cheap substance that will have the required rigidity and lightness to just act as stand-alone (unless you have your own carbon nanotube fabrication plant?).

"Using a tube instead of a pole (is lighter and) enables things to be run from payload up to the craft if needed, but also I am thinking that the support wires could be run through it and attach through the payload to maybe an inertial reel somewhere or the bottom of the balloons allowing the balloons to expand and keep the tension. There would need to be various stops I assume to try to keep the balance, and if the whole system is canted over in high winds you won't get a vertical launch, but it is a thought."

Jason Holloway is also convinced the three-globe set-up is the way to go, and here's his self-explanatory diagram:

Andrew Sheppard offered the most detailed vision of the LOHAN threesome plan:

A triangular launch enclosure between three balloons

He says: "The diagram, which is drawn to scale, shows a 2-metre wide vehicle and three 6-metre balloons (you work out whether the volume is equivalent to one 10-metre one), separated by three spacing devices and with three suspension elements supporting a launch platform.

"Depending on the configuration of the craft and the dimensions of the spacing device, there is about half a metre clearance from vertical to accommodate wind or wobbly lift-off. The launch platform can contain whatever controls and power is required for the launch vehicle, plus the mechanism to retain and release the craft, but needs no additional counterweight or extended 'booms'."

We should take a moment to salute Tim Parker and Philip Sutcliffe, who sent in similar submissions, before winding to a close with a couple of final ideas.

Security for virtualized datacentres

Next page: Bootnote

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.