Feeds

El Reg's NAOMI rocket throws launch-pad strop

SPB fails to get it up at International Rocket Week

Intelligent flash storage arrays

We at the El Reg Special Projects Bureau have just about recovered from our trip last weekend to International Rocket Week (IRW), in the somewhat rain-lashed and chilly outskirts of Glasgow.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicAs followers of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project will be aware, we headed off to a campsite outside Paisley on a mission to find out just what kind of rocket motor might power the Vulture 2 spaceplane, which will somehow launch from altitude before gently gliding back to Earth.

Myself and fellow Reg hack Bill Ray, temporarily seconded to the SPB for his vital ability to put up a teepee-style tent in the dark and pouring rain, were met at the IRW base camp by main man John Bonsor.

In an agreeably ramshackle building attached to a Scouting activity centre, John introduced us to the assembled rocketeers – a mixed bunch of enthusiasts who'd filled every available inch of table space with laptops, rocket bits, bags of crisps, Marmite, and the occasional alcoholic beverage, evidently providing vital fuel for rocketry activities.

This montage gives some idea of the range of projects on the go when we arrived on Friday night (click the pic for a bigger version, ditto on some of the photos which follow):

A montage of some of the projects on the go at the IRW base camp

Here we have, clockwise from top left: Darren Longhorn of the West Yorkshire-based North Star Rocket Group (NSRG), showing off his partially-built Shiny Thing spaceship; Andy Moore demonstrating some advanced rubber-band technology; an experimental space plane concept, very much in the spirit of the Paper Aircraft Released Into Space Vulture 1; and the tail end of Jonathan Rhodes' Spirit Of Columbia.

The Spirit Of Columbia was without a doubt the most fearsome vehicle on show, packing an M Class (10,000 Newton-seconds total impulse) hybrid motor burning nitrous oxide and polyethylene, augmented by two J Class solid rocket boosters each pumping out 1,280 Newton-seconds of total impulse. The 4.6 metre, 26kg beast is capable of reaching an altitude of 2,100 metres, and here are a couple of snaps of it soaring heavenwards on Saturday at the Fairlie Moor launch site, roughly 16 miles from base camp:

A wide view of a rocket launch on Fairlie Moor

Another wide shot of the same rocket launch on Fairlie Moor

Before Jonathan pressed the big red button on his Spirit Of Columbia, however, there were plenty more launches which could be enjoyed from the comfort of a folding chair.

The crows watches a launch on Fairlie Moor

John Bonsor was on hand with reflective jacket and impressively powerful megaphone to supervise the proceedings and provide a running commentary...

John Bonsor sees off a rocket on Fairlie Moor

John Bonsor supervises another rocket launch

... and here he is with Bill Ray and family, who are proudly showing off our own contribution to the launchfest – an off-the-shelf Aerotech missile hastily christened "NAOMI":

John Bonsor with Bill Ray and family, and the NAOMI rocket

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
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
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.