Feeds

LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

Progress to date on our audacious spaceplane mission

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

In response to requests from several Reg readers who've been following the progress of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) ballocket mission, we've put together a round-up of just where we're at with the various aspects of the project.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicThe LOHAN team is fighting on several fronts to advance towards an explosive spaceplane climax, with the invaluable support of several companies who've chipped in kit, as well as volunteers who've stepped into the breach with expert assistance.

As is only right and proper, we'd also like to give a heads-up to all those readers who've offered quality advice and suggestions as we've battled away over the last year.

Here's our outline mission summary (click for a bigger version)...

Our LOHAN mission summary, with graphic of Vulture 2 launch system

...and the current lines of attack are:

  1. Vulture 2 spaceplane
  2. Rocket motor testing in the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) chamber
  3. Rocket motor heater
  4. Fantastical flying truss
  5. Mission electronics

1: Vulture 2 spaceplane

Our elite Southampton University team has been beavering away on the design of the spaceplane, which has presented some major technical challenges.

The aircraft is effectively required to act as both rocket and glider, meaning the team has to plan for two distinct flight phases: the launch from the flying truss and subsequent glide back to base under autopilot control.

As you can imagine, simply the calculations as to the centre of gravity shift as the rocket more burns its solid fuel reload have kept the chaps off the streets for a while.

They do, though, now have a working CAD model into which they can enter the parameters, and use to simulate the flight characteristics. Once they're satisfied, they'll fine-tune the CAD design for delivery to 3T RPD Ltd, who'll then ensure it's entirely ready for the 3D printing process.

Here's our video of Southampton's own printed aircraft - "Sulsa" - and the selective laser sintering (SLS) process, which shows just how the Vulture 2 will be hewn from the living nylon:

Watch Video

The design of the Vulture 2 is highly classified, so you'll just have to wait for the roll-out to admire its shapely form.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.