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It's official: the control board of our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) spaceplane mission will forthwith be known as the "Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System", or SPEARS to its mates.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicA Reg reader vote came down firmly in favour of honouring the US chanteuse, who beat Ballocket Aerial Programmable System (BAPS) and Nearspace Autonomous Operation Motor Igniter (NAOMI) into second and third spots, respectively.

That NAOMI didn't win the day came as a bit of a relief, since we've decided to reserve the backronym for a forthcoming experiment, the exact nature of which is classified pending an official announcement.

While you ponder just what NAOMI tomfoolery we're planning, enjoy this pic of the SPEARS board, which Neil Barnes is as we speak assembling:

The bare SPEARS PCB

Last week, Neil took delivery of a small mountain of chips and other electronic bits...

A small mountain of electronic bits for the SPEARS board

...and is steadily working towards a fully-functioning printed circuit board:

The SPEARS board with a few bits attached

Just as soon as Neil's finished, we'll bring you a detailed examination of how the thing works. In the meantime, you can get some background here. ®


Further LOHAN resources:

  • New to LOHAN? Try this mission summary for enlightenment.
  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • Join the expert LOHAN debate down at Reg forums.
  • All the LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) vids live on YouTube.
  • For our SPB photo archive, proceed directly to Flickr.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.

LOHAN - A Special Projects Bureau production in association with...

  • 3T RPD logo
  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
  • Flashpoint Fireworks logo
  • HAB Supplies logo
  • Rock 7 logo

Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

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