Feeds

El Reg's NAOMI rocket throws launch-pad strop

SPB fails to get it up at International Rocket Week

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.