Feeds

LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

Progress to date on our audacious spaceplane mission

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
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?